Today is Father's Day. I need to attend church. Today, it sounds like two opposing ideas.
Like many people, my father has passed on, making Father's Day more a day of remembering. This is also the first Father's Day since my sweet husband passed on. More remembering. There is a part of me (of many of us), that finds it difficult to celebrate when the loss is so new. Our grief consumes us. We think, "I might as well stay home, it will be so hard, I will miss him so much, all I'm going to do is cry anyway." I know that attending church, feeling the Spirit, opens the windows to my soul and lets the rain fall down my cheeks. Days like today make it hard to do publicly.
Still, I needed to renew my spirit, and I knew that one important way to do that is to partake of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. God in his wisdom, knew I would have days (weeks, months) like this. And He provided a way to be healed, that way requires that I (able bodied as I am) attend Church, where the Sacrament, that renewal, is provided. So I gathered my kleenex and I went. As I arrived, I met a dear frIend who had been widowed only a few couple of months ago. She said she hadn't planned on attending. I was glad she was there, but I know how know how even little comments in a talk, or the words of a hymn can make the tears start to flow. While our friends are kind, and understanding, we still feel a little out of place.
The meeting started…I looked around. I did not feel out of place. So many kind friends! I felt 'at home'. The words of the hymns reminded me of eternal truths:
"Jesus of Nazareth, Savior and King!
Triumphant over death, Life thou didst bring,"
The words testified that death is not the end, and more importantly, I was reminded of the sacred reason for this miracle; the Savior's sacrifice!
Tears did not flow this time (hmmm…I must be adjusting), but my heart was no less moved.
"As to our lips the cup gently we press,
Our hearts are lifted up;
Thy name we bless!"
I'm so thankful to sing the prayers of my heart! As I sang, I gave silent thanks for this certain knowledge, this Plan of Happiness! I also tucked this understanding away, as a hedge against future days when I am reluctant to attend, knowing the joy I feel when I am here, surrounded by loving friends, and partaking of His Grace in such a sacred way.
"Guide us where'er we go,
Till in the end
Life evermore we'll know
Through Thee, our Friend."
Father's Day, Mother's Day, Birthdays...they are all merely earthly celebrations. They remind us of things of eternal significance; our families and time on this earth. I need to remember that and celebrate well while I am here.