I get kind of twitchy when the folks in my "Blogs I Read Every Day" list do it. Like, one of them hasn't posted since mid-Holy Week! Aaagh! is she okay!?
Um, and just realized that I haven't done so since Good Friday, myself. Which leaves me (figuratively, blogwise) sitting at the foot of the cross. But I am not there, I am so happy to say! I have risen with Christ, Alleluia!
Holy Week was very emotional this year (as previously noted). Easter Morning I arrived at church during the early service and slipped into the choir loft - a sweet man said to me, "Are you okay? you don't look so good!" :) WELL, THANK YA! But as I told him, it seems WAY TOO BI-POLAR to go from Good Friday to Easter in just a few days. (and having lived with bi-polar persons, I mean that in the realest and most loving sense...)
And isn't that just the whole point!? And wasn't that just the way it was for Mary and Joanna and Mary Magdalene? Except 1000 times worse?
So I took the regular journey, and then there were the little interior mini-melodramas...
Thursday night at church, someone did something that I considered to be thoughtless and inappropriate. I was quite upset, but also certain that the person didn't in any way mean to distract or offend me or anyone else.
Saturday afternoon there was what Ms. Grace calls a "kerfuffle" with a group I love a lot. I went through the feelings about it, put on my big girl panties, and headed to church for the Saturday night Great Vigil service....
...and I arrived to find the Thursday night person setting up to do the SAME THING AS BEFORE. During the Service. And I, Super Conflict Avoider Woman, approached her quietly and (I think) lovingly, and said, "Are you planning to do X? Please don't do that. It was very distracting on Thursday. If you need to do it, could you do it a different way? From over there?" etc. She was clearly not happy (OH NO! OH NO! UNHAPPINESS!) but she didn't punch me in the eye (a bonus for my Disagreement-Facing 101 seminar lesson).
I guess regular people would be able to leave it at that, but not me...it was sticky.
As the service began (first in darkness with the new flame, hand candles, then in dimness) the monsters in my head sort of took over (this is NOT what is supposed to happen in church!) and I mentally went through a nice little monologue like this:
"I can't believe she was going to do that again!
No one at this church appreciates me! And I cannot stay where I am not APPRECIATED!
I'm just going to LEAVE!"
Okay, it was a little longer and more complicated than that, but that was the gist of it. The red miasma that fills my brain in such times was very thick.
And as my mind snorted and shouted and snuffled and pouted, I looked straight ahead from the choir loft to the front wall of the church, where the gorgeous Christus Rex hangs. All through Lent, it is covered with an enormous curtain, and an icon-style crucifix hangs in front of it:
(This is the icon crucifix)
(Here's the Christus, seen from the back of the church, just above the font. I need to get a better picture of His face!)
And I thought, Oh wait a minute! I'm not here about being appreciated, or how other people behave, or any of that stuff. I'm here for Him!
And then, looking at the Christus, I thought maybe He was actually laughing a little...very lovingly, of course...and a great peace and joy were suddenly available to me. It was one of those liminal experiences...I don't know how long it lasted, but we were getting to the Baptism by the time I was able to be mentally available to the service again. (They had gotten along just fine without me!)
The Baptismal Font is just under the choir loft, so most of the choir stands at the rail and sort of hangs over to watch. Three beautiful baby girls were sealed by the Holy Spirit in Baptism, and marked as Christ's own forever. After Baptism, the lights were all brought completely up, the candles lit, we celebrated the Eucharist.
Christ has died
Christ is risen
Christ will come again
Thanks be to God!