Monthly Archives: April 2012

Maundy Thursday

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Spring Break 2011 was cut short (by our choice) so we could go home to check on Dad. He was struggling with shingles (or so we thought) and we were just anxious to be home with him. Riverland Hills Baptist Church (my parent’s church in Columbia, SC) had an annual Maundy Thursday service planned. Dad was to serve as deacon at this service and Mom sang in the choir.

We breezed into the driveway from Surfside at the same time Dad whipped around the corner in that red Honda Accord. He had been to work. He got out of the car, said hello, hugs for us all, and then said “I have to go lie down for 20 minutes until it is time to go. I am so tired.”   He asked me to wake him up in 20 minutes. This was definitely out of character for him. I did wake him up and we made it to church on time. It was very clear to me that the shingles were really zapping his energy. Obviously he felt terrible.

I hold in my hand the church bulletin from the Maundy Thursday service at RHBC 2011. I also have Dad’s deacon notes from that night.

“Thursday of Holy Week is called Maundy Thursday. “Maundy” probably derives from the Latin mandatum, “commandment.”  Jesus commanded His disciples to “do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19) The emphasis on this day is to remember and celebrate the final supper Jesus shared with His disciples. Jesus’ body and blood was the price paid for re-establishing a right relationship between God and humanity.”

The service was very moving. Music elements such as “How Deep the Father’s Love”, “At the Name of Jesus”, “Behold the Lamb”, and “Adoration Medley” filled the large room as voices reached to the heavens. We had The Lord’s Supper as we focused on the blood and body of Christ.

There was a very moving element that had each person walk to the front of the church to a very large wooden cross. Each person had the opportunity to use a hammer to put a large carpenter nail in that cross. The symbolism of this is a way to remember what Christ did for each of us was beyond powerful.

I remember the sound the most. The large room was completely quiet. All you heard was alternating hammers pounding nails into wood.

As the service unfolded, seven symbolic candles, including the central “Christ candle,” were extinguished.  The sanctuary was dark to depict the final hours of Jesus’ life and to dramatize the impact of His death.

When the service concluded worshippers were asked to depart the building in silence. I walked out of the building with my Mom and Dad. No one spoke until we got to our cars.

We were asked to remain silent so our hearts might dwell on the awesomeness of the love that was demonstrated through Christ’s sacrifice.

Let’s continue to do this today…. 

 

All of those “firsts”

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My lack of blogging over the past couple of months certainly shouldn’t indicate my lack of thoughts about a variety of things. I could always say life has been busy or other items have taken priority. There has been a great deal of reflection and processing as I continue to learn to live life without my precious Daddy. I was beginning to wonder if my writing was just for a season. Maybe it was just part of my healing process and had come to a close. But, I kind of doubt it.  I don’t force it. I just write when time and thoughts are plenty.

We seem to have hit that dreaded season of “firsts”. There was Christmas and New Years to celebrate. We didn’t have a hard time celebrating – we just decided to switch it all up and do things differently! Mom and I flew to spend a long weekend (mid December) with Thom and Summer in Indianapolis (it is so really very terribly cold there – how do you people live in that temp?) We had so much fun sightseeing and being together. There really is nothing like getting to hug my brother’s neck. What comfort. This Christmas Day was a first for us as we tossed tradition out the window and spent a week at Disney World for the holidays. What fun it was to be with family in a noncenventional holiday setting! Our annual family reunion at Sea Mist offered some emotional challenges without a key member of the crew but, we stuck together with hugs and tears (and shopping and naps and food) and made the best of a tough situation. I continue to be in awe of how amazing my extended family is. Such caregivers in special and thoughtful ways.

Mom and I went out to dinner for Valentine’s Day in Columbia. We shopped for a few new things for her home and I had a chance to ooh and aaah over some cosmetic (and some structural) changes to her beautiful house! These projects have been a wonderful way for her to give energy to something she loves (creativity, decorating, and “fluffing” a house)  She is also the president of the 150 member choir at Riverland Hills and seems to really enjoy her weekly duties and responsibilities in that position! She is really doing amazingly well. All glory to God!

As April approached I realized that the “firsts” seem to be getting harder. It was last year at Spring Break that we thought Dad had shingles and we could see the affect of that disease on his daily living. Little did we know. I will be blogging about some reflections and thoughts over the next months as we reach a whole new season of grief. Maybe it will help someone. Who knows? Maybe it will just help me.