I've had many good Easter Sundays in my life, but today was one of the best though earlier I thought it was one of the worst. My new source of pain which I've alluded to is a stomach ulcer, and I've had to sacrifice several of my favorite edibles such as coffee, tea (with caffeine), dairy, and alcohol (wine in particular). After Church I was depressed, exhausted, selfish, and ungrateful for my salad lunch. And I did not feel well, either - I'm learning ulcers heal slowly. But I sucked it up like a good coach's daughter.
Johnny and I joined our friends in taking Jesus to a nursing home right down the street from our Church. Rev. Ellisor led our multi-aged group through a liturgy and as we worshipped, I seemed to forget my pain. I rolled a purple-clad, sweet soul in her wheel chair so she could better see our makeshift altar and the musicians strumming guitars and singing. I watched each elderly person receive Communion with wonder and joy. I remembered Johnny encouraging me as we drove to the nursing home, "Today you are blessed with the opportunity to share in Christ's sufferings. You are also able to make a sacrifice for these people who live in a dingy-ass nursing home and otherwise would not get to celebrate Easter." He was exactly right (as usual).
After the service I talked with a few of the elderly whom I love - such wisdom, strength, dignity, sweetness, and grace. I met Joanne, wearing a fuschia T-shirt, and told her how happy I was she joined us for Church. She said, "I almost didn't come because my neck hurts." I said, I'm sorry, why? She kindly said, "They put this IV in my neck." (Hello, the huge IV in her neck...) She beamed when I said, I'm glad you decided to join us anyway. And I truly was thankful, for she encouraged me in my pain. We both were there together, both made a sacrifice, and all to celebrate Jesus's pain and sacrifice for us, and the end of His pain. His sacrifice is finished, and by His stripes we are healed. What am I whining about anyway? My abstaining is not that bad. Johnny and I are off to pick up beef fajitas, flour tortillas, guacamole, and a movie. Thanks be to God.