“What you did in Jesus’ resurrection proves that you can do absolutely anything.”
– Pastor Leith Anderson in prayer, Wooddale Church, Easter morning 2006.
I hadn’t spent much time preparing for Easter this year in a spiritual sense. I was traveling, visiting family, the weather was warm and sunny, and there were many fun activities distracting us.
It seems we weren’t really prepared for the other aspects of Easter, either. On Saturday night while the kids were sleeping, the three of us – my mom, my sister, and I – we lounged in the living room reading and watching the Twins beat the Yankees. The kitchen was still a mess from the day, the dining table was piled high with purses and books, and the contents of the kids’ Easter baskets were still in a Target bag under mom’s bed.
There we were, three ladies and no men. The house seemed large and empty without the presence of Gordy. On Friday night mom decided to grill hamburgers, and I said, “Really?” Gordy had done all the grilling. Mom and Jody fumbled with the controls on the gas grill until they finally got it working (I don’t do gas grills or car batteries), and we had some juicy burgers.
And now, on the Saturday before Easter, there was no bustle of activity in preparation of a big ham dinner. Without the bellies of men to fill, mom decided to prepare a light brunch. So there we sat, watching baseball.
Then, like three peas in a pod, we all got our second wind about 11:30. Mom found the plastic grass, we broke open the bag of jelly beans, and we shuffled around all the clutter to make way for a nice meal the next day.
Easter morning we attended my mom’s church. It was the church I grew up in, though it wasn’t this large when I lived at home. I guess you might call it a mega-church, but a church of this size is not uncommon in the Midwest. Many churches in the Bible belt of the Midwest have over a thousand attenders each week.
Now, when I attend church with my mom, I miss Gordy. As an employee of the church and a member of the building committee, he is everywhere in that building. I look up at the ceiling to the light bulbs at nose-bleed height and I remember how he’d notice one burned out during the service. I watch the choir sing and I remember him walking me through the choir loft as it was being built, helping me imagine beyond the gravel and concrete. He was so very proud of that building. He took such great care of the house of God.
On Easter morning as the choir sang a medley of hymns, I felt emotion welling up in me. Longing for Gordy, remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice – it all came back into focus as the intensity of the orchestra and choir swelled. We were celebrating, and I was remembering why.
Christ has risen. Christ is alive. And because of this, Gordy is alive as well.