Good Friday Morning!
Well, after missing it for the past two years, it sure was good to be able to take part in the greater Listowel community Good Friday service at the Listowel high school gym again this year. Of course, out of the close to one thousand people there, the little guy sitting with my son and his wife right in front of my wife, son and I captured my attention quickly and firmly. And why not – Grandpa hadn’t seen him for almost a whole week!
While waiting for the formalities to begin, he made his way over a couple of shoulders back to Uncle Jeremy, across to Grandma and eventually to Grandpa’s lap where he knelt face to face with me and pointed out the wonders of the people-filled surroundings. The buzz in the air seemed to please him greatly, satisfying his enthrallment with all things human.
After a while, he adopted a steady, eye to eye gaze with Grandpa as if he was trying to read my mind. His unwavering, blue eyes, looking directly into mine, smote my heart in a way that defies explanation. I was transfixed.
His head moved closer, his cheek brushing against mine. I began to sing quietly…. “I’ll love you forever; I’ll like you for always. As long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be…” Over and over. And over and over. He pressed tighter against my face with his cheek … “I’ll love you forever…’
And tighter he presses in again, flattening my nose, crunching my glasses and crushing my lips so hard that it was more like “Mi’ll muv moo moremever, Mi’ll mike moo more malways…”
Over and over and over. It was hard to breathe, for more reasons than one. How long we sat like that I don’t know. But it was long enough to get Grandma’s attention, sitting beside me, and then Uncle Jeremy’s and then Mommy’s and Daddy’s as well.
Kinda hard to sing and breathe and listen all the while Grandma and Jeremy were sitting next to us shaking with laughter. Not to mention Mommy’s rapt attention to it all.
Eventually Mark decided to let Grandpa breathe again and slowly pulled away. A big, red, rashy-looking patch marked the spot where his soft cheek and temple had practically fused his face to Grandpa’s rough whiskers. What a moment.
And how fitting – just as my grandson had completely trusted and absorbed his Grandpa’s expression of love to the point of forgetting all else, so the gathered crowd soon put all else aside and began to join hearts and voices in songs of gratitude and praise in return for the deep love expressed by our heavenly Father on the cross of Calvary.
This is Easter! This is a celebration of amazing and sacrificial love! Thank you for the cross, Lord.
I hope your Good Friday morning was equally meaningful.
This is one of the songs we sang -
"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root". Henry D. Thoreau.