Apparently, others do.

This week begins the slow wind-down for the Catholic Charities Volunteer Service Corps here in Buffalo. Marion and I have served as the support couple for the Black Rock house and even got close with the 2nd house, Hamlin House. It’s a tough time for us as we are all a mix of sadness in seeing them leave and excitement for their bright futures.

The Black Rock House had Marion and I and Donna over their house for dinner and a discussion on the community’s experiences this year. At the end of the night they gave each of us a small token.

Now I’ve gotten great gifts before: a gold watch, a CD player, a dog! But this one ranks pretty high up there on my list of favorite all time gifts. It may rank just behind that dog of mine and definitely tops the charts on the “home-made gifts.

What is it?

Take a gander…

They gave me this home-made comic book that portrays me as Campus-Minister-by-day-Super-Hero-by-Night. They point out that “Mike” is really a hero during the day when he’s “helping people believe in themselves, grow in their relationships with God and strive to become better people.”

The last page of the book chokes me up every time. The Black Rock house is trying to think of a way to thank their superhero. And so…

“They each gave a piece of themselves to a little story; the piece that Mike affected the most. Everyone forgot that although Mike is a great, helpful person, their own stories were the ones that he was trying to help create.”

On my office door I have a saying that Henri Nouwen once said:

“My greatest vocation is to be a witness to the glimpses of God I have been allowed to catch.”

My favorite glimpses this year are named Helen, Anna, Nick and Ian.

I may write 20 more books over the course of my lifetime, but I am sure that this one will always be my favorite. Thanks to Anna Waz, Nick Richter, Helen Obineme and Ian Grogan along with Donna Nichols and my lovely wife Marion for being such a great group of people to help guide this year and even better friends.

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