Matt Rhodes
Haddonfield, NJ

I once had the pleasure of welcoming Jean into the home where I was an assistant. We did not want to crowd him with everyone all at once as many of us were eager to spend time with him. Thus, we set up a few chairs in a room where people could cycle through and spend a few minutes with him. This ritual unfolded rather smoothly, and then it was time for Debora, me, and two others to enter the room. Debora wandered in, looked around, stared at Jean, and inquired of me "who is that guy?!" I responded, "Deb, that is Jean Vanier." As soon as I answered her question, she turned around and promptly began to walk out of the room. I continued, "do you know who Jean is? He is the one who founded L'Arche with two other men." Without ing her gait, Debora carried on walking out of the room and blurted out rather bluntly and playfully "I DON'T CARE!" before cackling all the way down the hall. Jean and I made eye contact before both doubling over and chuckling together. Our friendship began not in the reverence of prayer or even with the formality of a handshake, but in a holy moment in which Debora gifted us with laughter.