Easter Week is a favorite time for this pastor & her paws-tor.
Relief mingles with awe. The busy-ness of worship planning is over. The business of church life resumes. Yet the pace is slower. The quiet is deeper. The miracle of the empty tomb lingers. What an ideal time to take time off and sit with the mystery.
My Thursdays are normally full from early morning to late afternoon: walking the dog, teaching yoga, writing blog posts, visiting parishioners, editing worship bulletins, reading The Christian Century, walking the dog again, responding to emails, making phone calls, and anything that comes up in between. This Easter Thursday, I cancelled it all to get away and reflect on the wonder of the week.
Early that morning, Isaac and I headed down Highway 49 towards Madison. We did not rush through the delta farmland but rather eased south with plenty of stops and walks along the way. He had an appointment for grooming, but I had no appointments other than to enjoy the day. While he soaked, I strolled.
The day flew by, as time away often does. After picking him up, shiny and clean and searching for the nearest mud puddle to offset the soap, we went to the Starbucks Drive-Thru. When we pulled up to the window, the employee handed me a latte and spoke to Isaac in the passenger seat. Ever the gentleman, he smiled at her and lifted his ears.
"Has he ever had a puppuccino?" she asked.
Puzzled, I asked her what it was. She explained that it was a small cup of whipped cream that they offered to dogs.
"Would you like one for him to try?"
I said yes, and she soon returned with Isaac's very own treat. He stood up on the seat, tail wagging and tongue lapping before I put the cup down. Whipped cream went everywhere: on my face, on my purse, on the window, on the steering wheel. The employee laughed at his joy, and I thanked her multiple times for making Isaac's day--and mine.
We pulled into a parking space so I could wipe the cream off myself and the car. As I watched Isaac dig his whole snout into the tiny cup, perishing the thought of one drop left behind, I thought of the employee whose name I don't know.
Our transaction could have been easy and fast--business as usual. I hand her the money, she hands me the latte, we drive off, and she turns to the next customer. She could have ignored Isaac. She could have said goodbye after the cordial "hi". Instead, she took the time to give us some of her time. She gave a dog a small gift that brought big smiles.
How often do we rush through business as usual and miss opportunities to give?
Does our busy-ness hinder our happy-ness?
They [the believers] praised God and demonstrated God's goodness to everyone. The Lord added daily to the community those who were being saved. (Acts 2:47, CEB)
In the days following Jesus' resurrection and ascension, many believed in him. Their response to salvation was to praise God and to demonstrate God's goodness through sharing their time, meals, possessions, and prayers with one another.
In our fast-paced culture, we tend to think of Easter Sunday as an annual holiday. Business resumes, and busy-ness defines our time. Isaac's anonymous friend at Starbucks reminded me of what it means "to demonstrate God's goodness" by saying "no" to busy for a moment. We are all capable of such demonstrations if we really pay attention to each other--if we really see each other.
Friends, like the earliest community of faith, let us not limit God's praise to Sunday mornings. Let us walk in praise and share God's goodness throughout the week. To whom can you offer a puppuccino today?
all good things to each of you,
Pastor Darian (and Paws-tor Isaac)