Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My Easter Story

Easter is always a great day in the life of the church. Lots of activity, energy and preperation. Great music, wonderful liturgy, and I hope a good sermon. Well, that's for others to decide.

Yesterday-Easter-was special to me in another way. And it was what happened to me AFTER the church service that made yesterday-Easter-so very unique and unlike any other. I was cleaning up the church after the service when a young thirty something homeless man came into the sanctuary. He walked upto me and as he began speaking, his eyes welled up with tears. He told me had been carrying his grandmother's ashes with him for some time-over a year I think, and wanted to know if I could bless them and have a small service for her. After saying "Of course" he disappeared and returned with a small baggie of ashes which he placed on the table we were using. I selected some sections from the Book of Common Prayer and as the service concluded, the man broke down again but now  mentioned that he felt he could "move on".

I thought about that event several times today. That experience, that image, reminded me of the importance of a ministry of "presence" and "service" in people's lives. Just "being there" and available to others-even the stranger- can result in an incredible spiritual experience. I don't know if I'll ever see this person again (I can't even remember his name) but I'll remember that experience forever. As I left the church and went over to our homeless feeding, I noted about two hundred people were in line, and eating picnic style. Many of them thanked me for the food and wished me a happy Easter. Little did they know how gifted and graced I felt to be in their presence.

Glory to God, Christ is Risen.