Signposts Along the Way: Signpost 6 – Part 3 of 5: “I HAVE To Go To Church!”

16 Apr

During the week before Easter, I was working at home balancing the books from our pool business. It was the last year that our store was open and the task was challenging to say the least. Honey, (my mom), looked after the kids while I tended to these responsibilities. Earlier in the month, my husband’s aunt, Elsie, had lost her husband and was not coping well with his sudden departure. In an effort to give her something to look forward to, I invited Elsie to come by our house every day after work for coffee and biscotti. She had been employed with the school system for over 25 years and was getting close to retirement. These little visits were a nice change of pace for her and for me as well.

I had read in the newspaper that one of our local, Catholic churches planned a “missionary service” on Holy Thursday. The announcement further explained that the missionary service would bring freedom, hope and spiritual transformation. Although puzzling to me, it sounded intriguing. Even though I didn’t observe the day, I thought this would be a nice thing for Aunt Elsie being she was a devout Catholic.

When Holy Thursday arrived, I asked Aunt Elsie to accompany me to the service during our daily coffee visit. She hedged, making excuses, but I finally convinced her after I told her that I would pick her up and drive her home. I believed in my heart that the experience would be uplifting for her. I would soon find out that God had arranged for us to be at church that evening.

By 3:30 pm, I still had to make the bank, cook dinner and arrange for child care. Mom rushed to the bank for me then home to serve dinner to my dad which she prepared earlier in the day. Soon it was 4:30 pm and the service was at 7:00 pm. Plans were set. We were all going – Honey, Aunt Elsie and I. Not being a churchgoer, I hadn’t the vaguest idea of what to expect and absolutely zero time to think about it.

Right around 5:00 pm the phone rang. It was mom, who by the tone of her voice, had something very important to tell me. “Paulette, sit down!” she excitedly instructed. Expectantly nervous, I obeyed. “You’ll never believe what just happened. I had dinner set for dad when he walked into the kitchen and pulled out his chair at the counter. As he was just about seated, his entire body shot up from his chair into a perfect upright position. He then flung both his arms out to his sides. His entire body formed a cross. He said, “I have to go to church, TONIGHT!” With that she quickly told me that they would see me at church and hung up. I think that she was still in shock.

I remained seated in awe as well. I had no idea what had just happened. All I knew was that my dad was going to church AND on the SAME night that I was. How unbelievable was that!

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