Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Ordinary, but Holy (Part 2)

(You can read part 1 of this post here.)

We drove around downtown for a bit before finally parking the 15-passenger kid mobile in front of a park. Shawn and I were nervous. It's one thing to charge out into the wild blue yonder on your own; it's a whole 'nother ballgame to lead eight children into it.

We headed for the nearest picnic table and passed out the Dixie cups and crackers. As I was filling them with juice, Shawn talked to the kids about communion and sacrifice. (Lest you think it was a solemn, sacred thing, Eon threw his cracker-he hates any cracker that isn't round-and Bo was gobbling his like Cookie Monster...crumbs flying. The middle kids missed the point and guzzled their juice and needed refills before we prayed, and I got on some tangent about the bread at the actual Last Supper resembling more chalupa shells from Taco Bell than Saltines from Aldi.) But, eventually, we blessed the bread and took it and blessed the cup and took it, too.

Just a family in a park, breaking bread together.

Ordinary, but holy.

There were some men nearby that looked to be homeless. Rather than overwhelm anyone with the sheer number of us, I opted to take our youngest with me while the others went off to play. I admit, I didn't do a very good job. Even though chatting people up is part of my job as a therapist, I was nervous. I sat on his bench without permission and instantly knew that was wrong...and rude. I asked for permission and he grunted. I took that as a yes and told him Happy Easter. I asked (see, I'm learning) if he'd like an Easter basket in a bag and showed it to him. He grunted again and reached for it. I stammered something stupid about candy and headed for the next guy, eager to escape my faux pas and crazy nerves.

More confident this time, I looked that man in the eye and told him Happy Easter and asked if I could sit. He agreed. I offered him a bag and he thanked me for it as he eyed the contents. I joked with him about everyone needing a Cadbury egg on Easter and he presented me with the hugest smile with the straightest yellow teeth I've ever seen. I relaxed. We chatted a bit about candy and about the beautiful weather. 

Two strangers sitting in the park making small talk.

Ordinary, but holy.

While we were chatting, my nine-year-old was pushing Bo in his stroller, around and around the fountain, very fast, delighting in his shrieks of joy. She laughed with this child who once was a stranger, abandoned, but now is her brother of only six weeks. She set him free from the confines of the stroller and stayed with him as he explored. 

A sister playing with her brother.

Ordinary, but holy.

On the other side of the fountain, Shawn spotted a man who might want a bag and asked seven-year-old Ben to go with him. I watched from a distance as Shawn, with humble posture, spoke to the man and they handed him a bag. 

Just a dad teaching his oldest son about life and love.

Ordinary, but holy.

The rest of the afternoon was filled with delivering our bags, posing and smiling,

playing and climbing,

and just being together. We made mistakes. We learned a lot. We stepped out of our comfort zone. (It is my firm belief that if we step out of it often enough, our comfort zone will expand.) And we had fun. All agreed that it was a great of the best Easters remembered.

A family enjoying each other and the day.

Ordinary, but holy.

What made it holy? It certainly wasn't because the Lakes' family was there. We were the ordinary. Our efforts to love the unloved, to make a sacrifice, to teach our children a better way did not create holiness. 

Jesus was there. It was holy because we were there in His name, so He was there, too. 
For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them. Matthew 18:20
He showed up. It was holy only because Jesus was there.  I recognized him in the smiles of the homeless, in the laughter of my children, in the joy of a beautiful day. I don't know that anyone was impacted by our presence there that day, but we were impacted by His.

It is my prayer that we can recognize the holy in the ordinary not just on Easter, but today, tomorrow, and the next day. May we experience the holy so often that it becomes our normal, our ordinary, as well.
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 2 Peter 1:3
Life and godliness....the ordinary and the holy. Because of Jesus, we have everything we need for all of it. May we live it well.


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