“Just in case” . . . so said the little dark-haired fellow who had just emerged from the sea of Cross Schools students attending Family Chapel to give me a Band-Aid. A bit taken aback by such an unusual encounter, I stammered, “Thank you, son; but what’s it for?” “Just in case,” he repeated before hastily rejoining the ebbing tide of blue shirts, khaki pants and red neckties.
“Just in case” . . . as a child of ten or so I briefly sojourned with the Boy Scouts; and though I failed to advance beyond the rank of “Tenderfoot,” the Scouting motto, “Be Prepared,” stuck with me. Had the young lad, too, ventured into the world of merit badges and camping and come to embrace that wisdom as a personal watchword at his tender age?
“Just in case” . . . as a child of eleven I first received the Sacrament and heard a priest say to me, “The Body of the Lord Jesus Christ, which was given for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life.” Had the young lad, who moments earlier received the Sacrament from me, so soon become “aware of the shortness and uncertainty of human life,” including his own?
“Just in case” . . . as a pre-Scouting, pre-Sacrament-receiving young boy I enjoyed playing outdoors with my friends – we would ride our horses (adults who could only see with their eyes called them sticks) to a secret gathering place (our hideout), decide on our next adventure, and then gallop off with a hardy “High ho, Silver, away!” Whereas horses wore shoes, most often we did not – a habit that gave rise to countless stitches in my feet. Had the young lad somehow managed to escape the fetters of television and video games and find his way into a similar posse of friends? Did he know what it was to be placed into a Radio Flyer wagon by a buddy and pulled home, leaving a trail of blood in the dirt? Or had he somehow discerned my “wild west background” and concluded from my gray hair that a second childhood was in the offing?
“Just in case” . . . for years I’ve carried a little wooden cross in my pocket as a personal aid in coping with “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” and to give to others in similar combat; I’ve now decided to tote that Band-Aid as well . . . just in case.
In His power and for His glory,