Sunday, April 8, 2012

Good Friday

I am so behind on posts! I just haven't had the interent access. I still haven't told you about my adventures of last weekend, but I think it seems more timely to tell you about yesterday, a day blessed and set apart by God Himself.

The plan was thus: take my laptop and get dropped off at the downtown Spartanburg library. I was going to spend pretty much all day online, except lunch, until I met up with my church and a few others for a special Good Friday event at 5:30. Then I was catching a ride to Bible Study. Fun day, right? I was going to catch up on blog posts, apply for jobs, and do more...

I arrive at the library at about 9:45am. I went up to a carosel on the third floor (isn't that's what they're called?) and I made sure there was a place to plug in my netbook... I pulled it out.. and found out I'd forgotten the cord! I only had like twenty minutes of charge left... and I needed the internet to organize my ride later. So I sent off a quick facebook message to a few people (including Ryan) explaining the situation and that'd I'd be checking back at 4:30 to see if I had a ride.

Along with my netbook I'd brought my Bible and some books I needed to review to read. I am behind in my Bible in 90 days challenge. I was midway through Jeremiah. I finished it and also read Lamentations, as well as reading a few chapters in one of the books. Then I was hungry for lunch. I'd grabbed my wallet that morning. I had a few dollars in my bank account. I walked to Boots and Sonny's, a hotdog place about a block from the library and got on line. I pulled out my wallet... and I didn't have my debit card at all! I had switched to the bag I was carrying that morning, and it must have fallen out in the previous bag.

So I left Boots and Sonny's and went and sat in a patch of grass across the street from the library and pulled out a few cookies I had packed. Yes, money and power cord I forgot, cookies I didn't. I thought I'd make a lunch of them.

This whole time I'm praying. You see, being out and about praying and walking Spartanburg holds a lot of memories for me. Wonderful times of both before and after college. And I'm hungry, sitting there. I hadn't eaten breakfast, just a soda for the caffeine to get me going. I'm thinking, "All you're going to have is cookies and soda before 7pm tonight? This is not going to go well. You are so going to crash." And it occurs to me that I could walk to my bank a few miles down. I have my ID on me, so I could walk in and take out a few dollars that way.

I walked down Kennedy Street, praying the whole while. I passed two churches I've been to in the past (in college I'd walk around Spartanburg visiting churches because my church is on the other side of the city and I didn't have a car) and they seemed to be having Good Friday services. I prayed about going in, but instead walked on. I cut across a parking lot then took Real Estate Way to St. Paul's St to Henry Street, then walked up towards Pine Street. My bank is the last on the way. I was a little nervous because I wasn't sure if they'd be okay with it, but it worked out fine and I took my money to Wendy's across the street. It went farther there than it would have at Boots and Sonny's.  I read more of my book, then after a leisurely lunch walked back to the library.

It was the most beautiful day! If you live in this area and weren't outside on Friday, I'm sorry. And it just set my heart on fire for God. And you know what? I love to walk! I just love being a pedestrian. It beats a car for local reasons any day!

I got back to the library and read in Ezekiel and more in the book... I checked the netbook around 4:30 and no one had said they'd give me a ride...

I headed over to Morgan Square where I was supposed to meet the others at 5:30. We were meeting to do the Stations of the Cross. My church and the other Episcopal Churches of Spartanburg were getting together and walking from Morgan Square to the Church of the Advent. I sat in Morgan Square, confused by signs saying Jazz in the Square would start at 5:30 and the people setting up for that. But I enjoyed the lush grass and the shade tree, reading more in my book. I finished it and placed it in my bag and thought "What now, Lord?" and looked up...

To see a half dozen priests (and a bishop) walking down the street in cassocks! I smiled and grabbed my bag and hurried to join them. They were heading to where everyone was meeting... on the other end of the square where I couldn't see them from where I'd been sitting.

I got an order of service and noticed there was a large, lifesized cross. "Oh please," I thought, "Let me carry that!" I love when we get a chance to experience in a tactile way the events and truths of the Bible. Admittedly, I wasn't whipped but to get the experience of carrying the cross was just a tangible way to make my savior's life real to me.

And indeed, I did get to help carry it! We weaved in and out of downtown, stopping and putting the cross up and reading the stations. I helped carry it I think five or six times.

When we got to the twelfth station, which was where Jesus died, I hadn't read ahead. I had assumed the last station was his death, so I felt my breath catch in my throat and felt grief for this man I love. Oh my Jesus, you died for me!

The last station is the fourteenth, which where his body was placed in the tomb. We did this just outside the Church of the Advent. If you've ever been there, there are graves all around. It was very poignant. And I looked on the cross and for a second I pictured him there, then stopped myself and instead became aware he was not at all on the cross anymore, but instead inside my brothers and sisters all around me, and in me as well. And I was filled with this feeling of joy and jubilee. We then all followed the cross into the church for closing prayer. I knelt in prayer, then on the way out I looked up and saw the words "Go Thee Into The World and Preach the Gospel" above the door.

My friend Will had come, and we walked back to his car and we drove over to Bible Study. God provided a way.

At Bible Study, it was a special Friday. We had a visiting missionary speak, fitting very well into the parting words of the Advent's wall. He was very inspiring and I got to talk to him afterwards as well.

We also sang joyous songs and had prayer time. I also found out that my friend Lydia's father, who is a friend of mine as well, did not have a heart attack as I had heard. He was home from the hospital.

It was just such a blessed day crafted by God. All day was spent in activities about Him... God-walking through Spartanburg wouldn't have happened if I'd not forgotten my debit card. I'd not have read as much in my Bible or finished the Christian book I'll be reviwing soon, but instead would have been doing things online if I'd remembered the cord. The book I read was Spirit Wars, and it tied in so well to what I was reading in Jeremiah, Lamentations and Ezekiel. And I was given a major revelation regarding a mystery in my life. Maybe I'll share that another time.

And the blessed day didn't stop when I got home. I spent a great evening with my paernts, which was crowned when we went on the porch only to hear owls hooting... It must be owl mating season. We fell silent, pointing and smiling at each other as they grew closer to us and each other, finally meeting in the oak tree in front of our house! Maybe we'll have baby owls soon!

We all love owls.

Oh! And I saw myself (just in the background) on the news. They had a cameraman at the stations of the cross. They didn't have the video on their website, but here's the text and a few more images.

Then I got on the phone with Ryan and went to sleep...

It was a blessed God-planned day. Love you all. Glad to share it with you.

2 comments:

J-ma said...

What an awesome experience! God's plans are so much higher than ours!

Pamela said...

Some days just seem to be planned by God. It sure sounded like a blessed one!

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