Grace made a way this day, and my heart is so thankful. I grew up knowing the Lord and was raised in church. We went to a little church and that was part of what we did every Sunday. We also had home cooked southern Sunday dinners (Sunday lunch was always called dinner for some reason.) Even when we went camping, we went to a little one-room wooden floored church where my mother grew up. Today that little white church still stands about a mile down the road from where our farm is.
We went to church every Sunday until something happened between my dad and the preacher when I was about eight and we didn’t go for many years. About twice a year the preacher would come by and my dad would say, “Well, I wrote him a check so he won’t bother us for another while.” I’m not sure what happened, but somehow, my parents got disenfranchised with the whole thing and we didn’t go any more. When I was about 11, I started going to church with my friends, and, a year later, was about to be confirmed. My sister and I were going to a service on Good Friday at another church as part of that confirmation process, but we never made it. We had just finished a choir Easter program at school that day, and we got home early since it was a holiday and we found my dad. He had a heart attack and had died. He was 42. It didn’t take long to realize what an honor it was for my father to die on the same day that the Lord did. For a twelve year old, it helped to picture her own dad resurrected with Jesus that Easter Sunday. For a middle aged woman, it still brings comfort. It wasn’t about going to church. It wasn’t about what all we did in church. It was about a cross and a God who bridged heaven and earth with the greatest plan of love the world will ever know.
Due to most of our kids not being home, we won’t worship at our local church this year. Sunday, we will go to church in the same town near our farm where we did so long ago. We won’t go to that same little white church, but we will be very near where my parents, my grandparents, and my great-grandparents worshipped. We’ll have country cooking on the grounds after the service, and I’m bringing the best chocolate cake ever. I can’t wait to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord and, somewhere inside me, a twelve-year old girl still smiles at God’s goodness in His perfect plan.