Easter Sunday was an interesting day...more interesting than originally planned, at least for me.
We attended a wonderful church service at my church. It was so nice my husband was free to come as well and he enjoyed connecting with his former parishioners. The priest gave a most inspired sermon about Jesus' resurrection of our dreams and hopes in this present life and my husband came away very encouraged about his own present and future ministry and work. The shining sun made the very cold day quite tolerable.
In the afternoon we drove to our friends' for their annual Easter ham dinner and party; a lovely drive on good, clear roads! No snow, no ice were anywhere in the driving lanes and most of the ice was melted off the shoulders. The huge salad and the fresh flowers I took for the party rode quite safely in the back of the vehicle, no worries with this particular car that the heating system wasn't going to be sufficient to keep them from freezing. What a relief.
We had been at our friends' home for about 15 minutes when I just knew I HAD to get out of there. I tried to visit with the folk all ready in attendence and nothing was geling. People were walking away from me in the middle of a sentence, leaving me talking to the bare walls. No one was making eye contact. It was downright wierd! The aura in the house was off somehow. It was like I had stumbled into a house filled with aliens who didn't know I was even present. My own friends appeared to be looking right through me. I felt like there was a weight on my chest and a dullness in my head.
Suddenly it struck me: there was somewhere else the Lord wanted me to be. Okay, fine Lord, but where??? Then I thought of my really good friend who lives in the same town. We have been trying to get together more often, but distance combined with bad roads put the kybosh on that for most of the winter. I know that this is a difficult time of year for her and if she was alone on Easter Sunday it might be good for her to have some company, so I gave her a call. She was so happy that I would come to visit her, so I excused myself from the party, trusting in the long standing friendship with our hosts to understand I was being called away for awhile. As I drove away from the party, the sense of oddness I was feeling inside disappeared.
Long story short, it was a very good and necessary visit with my other friend. We spent a couple of hours together and it certainly was a mood lightening time for both of us. We laughed and shared stories. We talked about God and church. Eventually I noticed she was getting tired and knew it was time for me to return to the original group of friends, so off I went rejoicing.
When I got back to the house party, it was just as the food from the dinner was about to be put away, so I was able to load up my plate and enjoy the feast despite being gone so long. As soon as I was done eating I was handed a reading that the hosts wanted me to share and it was just wonderful to be able to do a dramatic reading about Cleopas and his experience with the resurrected Christ. I haven't been in a group for a long time where the people know me well enough (and long enough) to know I am capable of that, so it was not only a privilege, but also a treat to be asked. Great memories for me as well of times of contribution long past.
The whole feeling inside that house had dramatically shifted when I returned. I was immediately part o the group again, the visiting was sweet, the people I hadn't met previously were friendly and eager to talk about their lives. It was SUCH fun!
I admit I over amped on the food and drink and am suffering a bit of a "food hangover" today after allowing myself to indulge in a bit of chocolate: 6 Cadbury candy coated mini-eggs and 2 foil wrapped mini-eggs. Dreadful quality chocolate....absolutely delicious to someone who hasn't been able to indulge in chocolate candies much in the past 5 years. hahahaha Plus, how can simple sparkling water taste so good? I must find out what brand our hosts were serving and find myself some of that!!
Thank you Lord that I got the hint you had somewhere else for me to be for part of yesterday, someone else I needed to see for both our sakes. Thank you that although it has been quite some time since I have received such a direct "command", I eventually discerned the discomfort and awkwardness in the party house had something to do with your attempting to give me direction and a chance to be obedient to a call that seemed rather out of place and rather rude to our hosts and their party guests. Thank you that our hosts "got" what was happening.
This Easter has been a good one of meditation, repentence, receiving joy and participating in ministry. I am grateful!!