Monday, August 1, 2011

A sacrifice of praise, a hug and something you'll probably think is strange

It's the Sabbath and I'm cheating.

Our best friends, who live in Virginia Beach, came into town yesterday and they're staying with us until Thursday. Right now, they're at a family picnic, since most of their family members live in the Pittsburgh area. My husband is over at his first wife's delivering some pictures she wanted of their 20 years together. I was going to accompany him, and then the thought dawned on me that I could use this time alone to my advantage and work on some blog posts. He was okay with that, so in the past hour, I've been working on my blog and catching up on some emails. Not my usual Sunday fare.

We're taking the day off tomorrow to spend with our friends, so I won't have time to write about my Sabbath. I will say that, for the most part, it was a very restful day. Our morning worship service was especially inspiring. As I looked out over the congregation (I was up front singing with the worship band), I was struck by the amount of pain and sadness represented in the pews:
  • a recent miscarriage
  • chronic physical pain
  • a suicide survivor who is now permanently blind
  • a woman hunched over in a wheelchair after a lifelong battle with CF
  • a widower who recently lost his 53-year-old wife
  • grandparents of children who have been unjustly taken away from their daughter by CFS
  • a single woman who has dreamed of being married for over 50 years
  • my own daughter who has lost two babies
  • and so many more ... private struggles and unanswered "whys"
Each and every one of those in need of stretcher bearers inspired me. How? In their countenances. I looked out, knowing the pain that was there, and saw joy ... and faith ... and the sacrifices of praise. Tears welled up as I watched them, singing their praises to the Lord who didn't answer their prayers in quite the way they would have wanted ... the Lord who still remains silent in the midst of pain. Joy. That's what I saw. I saw people who, rather than running away from God, were running toward Him. I saw a miracle.

That's how my Sabbath started. What about yours? Was it the same-old-same-old? Have you lost your passion for worship? Perhaps you need to look deeper into the faces of those who are suffering. Perhaps you need to pick up an end of their stretcher and carry it for awhile. Perhaps you simply need to offer up a sacrifice of praise.

My day continued to be a delight. After church, I was holding my relatively-non-affectionate 11-month-old grandson and ... he hugged me!! For the first time ever. A hug. My heart leapt with joy.

Impromtu guests joined us for our traditional after church lunch, as Bill's brother and his wife passed by as we were going into the restaurant. That was delightful.

Later, at home, another brother stopped by for awhile. Equally delightful. And then I napped. Especially delightful!

So, all in all, it was a restful Sabbath, and sharing my thoughts with you is actually not a chore, but a privilege. I am honored every time you take the time to read my words. After all, there are millions of other words you could be reading right now. But you chose to pay Green Grandma a visit and, like I said, I'm honored.

Over an hour has passed since I started this post. Now it's time to head out onto the porch and relax while my husband and I wait for our friends to return. Bill and his first wife had an enjoyable evening reminiscing as they looked at the photos documenting their life together. Does that sound strange? It's not really. They loved each other and bore two children together. That bound is unbreakable and I respect that. They talked, they laughed, they hugged. And that makes me happy. Bitterness and regret destroy the soul. It's not good for anyone. Mary Ann's only regret tonight, according to Bill, was that I didn't come along. How sweet is that?

Sharing my Sabbath experience with you,



  1. I've missed being in church and seeing you all. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone hopefully this week. Chris, is apprehensive about me and the baby going anywhere with large crowds. He's a little protective of us, it's sweet yet annoying at the same time.

  2. I can't wait to meet the new little one!


Search This Blog