Clinton’s world is yellow-green with maple leaves a-spreading out, pink and white cherry blossoms singing up and down the street and in front yards and the churchyard, blaring yellow forsythia bushes shouting hooray, the daffs not quite done and the tulips strutting through people’s yards in pink and gold and bright yellow perfection.
Plus little fluffy clouds and me walking through town in my shirtsleeves and everybody, all my old friends, so happy to see me and gathering around and shaking hands and asking Where’s Patrushka you old pig?
Easter Sunday, the He Is Risen day, and my old town is looking like heaven. An old-fashioned, small town American kind of heaven.
I stopped in at my old church, Clinton Presbyterian, for the big Easter 11:00 service. I took my first faltering steps there after God showed me He was real after all and I decided to follow Jesus. My kids sang in the choir there and played their squeaky violas to great applause. I led my first Bible study there when I had never even been to a Bible Study before. It was the silliest Bible study ever seen on the planet, but it was real, man.
Those Presbyterians were like, Go Man! I sang Marvin Gaye’s song Save the Children once for the musical offering. I sang Bob Marley songs – just maneuvered the words a bit. I didn’t know there was such a thing as modern praise music and neither did any one else.
So yeah, Easter Sunday, they’re still playing organ music, but they have a good organist now and the music just soared. And there were my old pals up there in the choir in their blue robes – but now they were singing good! Somebody has figured out how to do those old hymn tunes right. And Eileen Mansfield spotted me in the second row and came running down during the ‘pass the peace’ deal to throw her arms around me and ask where’s Patrushka you old pig? Eileen Mansfield is not exactly a demonstrative person. So I felt welcomed, like it is when you get to heaven for a day.
Tim, the new preacher, gave a sermon I could actually understand from beginning to end, about believing something even when you don’t understand it, and when we took communion together it was like the scales fell off something inside me and I could pray again. I thought of Spoke up there in Alberta feeling the same alienation from church that I have been dealing with for so long, and I just prayed for a little resurrection for both of us. And as for me, I got it.
I just was graced with a little visit to heaven, and you don’t get that every day.