Saturday, April 18, 2009

Easter Alone

I chose not to go to church on Easter Sunday, even though, I am a born again Christian. I belong to a large church whose services have become a farce. As one of my friends told me after attending one of the three Easter services, "We need to pray for the hearing of those who attended." The music is so loud that it actually hurts. The words of the music are unintelligible in the din. Ninety percent of the music is new with the same forgettable lyrics and melody. All in all, Easter services are uncomfortable experiences.

I did think about attending a small church in my neighborhood, but stayed home instead. I have long had mixed feelings about corporate worship. I know that these services reach people, bring them to God. However, I find them to often to be mass entertainment events. Perhaps, that is necessary in the light of our modern society. I don't know. I do know that we must not let corporate worship replace are own individual witness.

I don't mean buttonholing some poor soul and haranguing them about God. No, I mean leading your life so that it is a model of God's love. Not that I do that. I pray about my failings, but have trouble changing. I don't always give to those that ask. I seldom turn the other cheek.

Love God, love your neighbor as yourself, Christ's command. I even have trouble loving God as I struggle to find money to buy groceries, to pay the doctor, to fix my car. How can God make things so difficult? I suspect that these things happen because of God's larger plan, but would it hurt God to bestow a small blessing on me? I pray and continue on. I hope that someday I will have a glimmer of understanding.

And has God really paid attention to the kind of neighbors I have? Drunken college students, urinating bar patrons? How lovable are they? How about the man that let his dogs run and they killed my cat? I received an answer on that one. The man paid part of my vet's fees when Abner died of a crushed chest from his dog's bite. The money was not the answer.

A short time after Abner died the man approached me. "I'm going to prison. My brother will take the dogs, but I have my mother's cat. I can't find anyone to take her. Will you?"

I wanted to say no. Why should I solve his problem? Let him suffer the consequences of his actions. I had trouble meeting my expenses now. I did not need an elderly cat.

"I will take care of her while you are in prison," I heard myself say. With that I became the owner of an elderly Persian cat. You notice I said owner. The man is out of jail after serving more than two years in jail, but he doesn't have a place for the cat. I am sure she is mine forever.

I can only hope that I did a little of God's will when I took the cat. Maybe that is the answer. We model Christ best, not in grand gestures, but in simple, unthinking, kindnesses to others.

Photo by eva101

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