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I write day after day because I discover extraordinary lessons from ordinary life experiences. I record my visual portraits of everyday life filled with something sacred in hopes that my reflections might bring an insight that blesses my readers.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday nights in Muncie

Sunday evening seems to be a time that my neighbor and I search for a special spiritual awakening. Last Sunday I asked her to go to a concert with me at a church where Joel would perform. I explained how Joel had led morning worship so well that he delivered us right into the throne room. My dear friend, Pixie, has gone along with my inklings and seeking for thirty seven years.

God just put us together as young moms , and we have weathered things together. We often question if He was sure this was the best for our neighbors and family. We have made our husbands laugh and snarl with our antics. We have embarrassed our kids and ourselves. Once we laughed so hard in church the minister asked us to leave. We have cried together, endured my mom's Alzheimer's, her husband's Huntington's disease, our children's teenage choices, ( some good , some bad), helped plan our kid's weddings, and we are still friends. We have planted and harvested gardens, sponsored many Christmas families, cooked for our neighbors, and cared and fed a lot of other people's children. Consistently, we have read the Bible and tried to figure out how it applied to us . This has been our main conversation throughout our friendship and walks. All this history and laughter has made us sisters.

So, off we go to hear Joel lead us in worship. When we get to the church, we are aware we are the oldest ones there. Nothing has really begun, so I encourage her and her granddaughter to sit with me in a pew midway back from the band. That is the only wise decision that I make that night. Soon the drummer strikes his drums which echo throughout the chapel. Next, the guitar players "get down". Joel sings some thumping songs but none about Jesus. My friend sits patiently through the " head banging melodies" as she put it.

She reaches over and pinches my leg and gives me that look. That look that clearly says, " Look what you have got us into now." We stay for the entire concert but leave quickly. We laugh loudly all the way to the car about our worshipful Sunday night service. She announces loudly, " You have lost your credibility , and I will not fall for any more invitations."

However, this Sunday on our walk number 9000, yep, we have been walking for over thirty years most every day. That is a lot of talking, bonding, sharing, and stepping . I tell her excitedly," I want to take you out to a very special Masterworks Chorale concert tonight. " She acknowledges that she read in the paper they would be singing psalms and hymns. So, we agree to leave about seven and dress up for the occasion.

As we are pulling into the Presbyterian parking lot, we comment that we are exceptionally early. We have no problem finding a parking place. We do have a problem opening the massive front door. It is locked! We peek through the window and see only darkness. Of course, we bend over with peals of laughter.

So, we decide to walk to the back of the church where we saw lights when we came into the parking lot. We discover young teens laughing and circle dancing and expressing a lot of pent up energy. Once again , we are the oldest there. The youth leader explains, "Oh, ladies, the concert was Saturday night , not Sunday. You missed it." As we left, we giggled as hysterically as the teens. This is our way of acknowledging that this isn't the first time we have missed something in our journey together. However, our solution is always to laugh.

Pixie said, " O.K., you tricked me once. Shame on you. You tricked me twice. Shame on me. Now, just don't think I will fall for this another Sunday night." With that we snicker and walk back to the car which was still parked in the front of the church.

We decide not to waste our gussying up and drive to the Ihop restaurant to have some coffee and a snack. Our choice is limited in Muncie on Sunday night because not many places are open at eight.

A petite ,dark haired gal directs us to a booth. I ask ," Do you always wear Payton Manning's jersey?" She rolls her big brown eyes and makes Pixie and I start laughing immediately. The waitress explains she is really a Bear's fan but has no place to buy a Bears' jersey. As she is taking our order , I announce, "Don't expect a big order from us. We are just all dressed up and there is nowhere else to go but here." She rolls those expressive eyes and makes a hilarious face. We love Velma because she is entertaining and so young.

"How long have you worked here?" She answers that she is "double shifting".

" I am trying to work two shifts any day next week that they will hire me." She continues, " I have two boys , age one and two. I am stir crazy from talking to them all day." We chuckle with her and say we understood. She shares she is twenty and newly divorced. " I caught my husband with another woman," she blurts. Then, she delivers our order, and pulls up all four feet eleven inches of her tiny body and says, " I am going to make it on my own. I really am."

Velma won our hearts , made us laugh, and tugged at our womanly bond to other struggling sisters. We gave her a generous tip and tried to encourage her. Maybe God just knew that we needed Velma and Velma needed us this Sunday night.

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