The sun was bright, the temperature was warm, and a gentle breeze was blowing on this June morning! The birds sang as they usually do and it really didn’t seem too different than any other morning, other than I was getting ready to go to church for the first time since the Coronavirus had hit. I didn’t know for sure who would be coming but was excited to be able to see the faces of people that I love and consider to be part of my family!
I parked and walked toward the church. The first person that I saw was my dear friend who means as much to me as the sister that I never got to have-we greeted each other warmly! As I walked into the building, I could hear the praise music fill the room and my heart with joy! My two year old granddaughter came running across the sanctuary saying “GRANDMA!” and jumped into my arms for a big hug!
As others came through the doors, it seemed as though a line of people formed like a team was getting ready to come out onto a football field! Just like everyone else, I had to wait my turn for hellos and ask, “Are you hugging?” Most of them said yes and I just hung on to them and told them how happy I was to see them! One of my friends wasn’t comfortable hugging yet but gave Hershey's Chocolate hugs to everyone who came to her, and most everyone loved that kind of hug - you can never go wrong with CHOCOLATE! I appreciate her thoughtfulness and creativity to give hugs in her special way!
I said hello to the children that I had taught or taken care of in the nursery! I was amazed at how much they had grown, and how much the babies had changed in just those two months. I was sure that some of them had forgotten me. One of the shyest little two year old girls who is very petite walked up to me and held her arms out so that I would pick her up! It made my heart so happy!
As the service began, faces were beaming with happiness as they filed into their seats! I looked all around the room and saw children twirling with moms holding their hands, and people were clapping and singing! Everyone was happy to be there and lingered in conversation to catch up with each other long after the service ended!
What a sweet reunion it was! As I reflect on it today, I am reminded of so many things that are easy to miss or take for granted, like:
1-How thankful I am for the simplest joys of relationships that mean so much to me!
2-HUGS (and let's be honest, chocolate hugs are good too)!
3-The freedom that we have to gather together peaceably
4-The freedom that we enjoy to be able worship as we please
As I have shared, I know that some of you may be looking forward to sweet times with those that you haven’t been able to see or be with. It might be a family reunion, a wedding celebration, or a birthday party that will be your first major gathering! I would love to hear about it and you can do these few things to share your thoughts:
First, you can tell me about your favorite thing from the first opportunity to gather with others since the Coronavirus quarantine and how much it meant to you by leaving me a message or emailing me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
-You could like our 1VLA Face Book page!
-You could share this blog with a friend!
Don’t forget to let people know how much they mean to you and be thankful for the freedoms that we are privileged to have!