Monday, September 17, 2012

Where's Reido?

We had a rare treat celebrating the Feast of Trumpets last night at Maranatha Chapel.  Jim, Reid and I ventured out in response to a last minute invitation on Facebook.  I was excited; Jim willing; Reid unsure.

Questions flew the whole way there. What church?  The big one where we saw Bethany Hamilton. What feast? The one where Jewish people ring in the new year.  Off we went adventurously.

Have I mentioned that we like routines?  For us, the third time's usually a charm.  Going to a new place requires vigilance, teamwork and often compromise.  Other times, spontaneity is the charm.  This was a divine appointment.

The right attitudes prevailed. We pulled up to the Southern California mega church early enough to find a parking spot in the far corner.  Nudging Jim at the sight of the surely well-stocked cafe bookstore, he caught my drift and threaded his way through rows of cars to a less tempting entrance. (Reid could spend the equivalent of two services browsing Veggie Tales videos.)  Herding him past the playground and childcare rooms with streaming positive reinforcement, we reached the sanctuary doors.  Despite my confident forging ahead with program in hand, Reid shrinked in retreat at the onslaught of energy exuding from the 3,000 seat capacity crowd.

Jim sweetly offered, "Go save a seat. We'll join you."  We do this tag team relay with hardly a word. "Turn your phone on."  Experience and timing make it possible with eye contact alone, maybe a charade code gesture.  We know the drill. He'll track Reid to the restroom and beyond as he acclimates to the new setting and hopefully, gradually, talk him into sitting with mom. Long story short and several texts later, they made it down to the third row on the far left where I was seated, right behind the makeshift dance floor for Israeli dancing.

Adjusting to the riotous worship and noise, Reid inched his way to my row in slow motion. The entire crowd of worshippers put their hands down and were seated to hear some announcements.  Mesmerized and still fearful of applause or some other eruption, he stepped cautiously into the pew and remained standing just in case he had to bolt for the foyer.  We didn't know a soul, except for the One we were all praising. The anonymity and heavenly diversity made it quite comfortable. A Jewish man in a suit, yarmulke and phylacteries pushed a double stroller back and forth; toddlers were up on parent's shoulders; a man in a wheelchair did 360's in the aisles; it was all good on this unusual night.

The usual pastor introduced a special guest, the "Singing Rabbi." Dressed in impressive regalia, he asked everyone to stand back up at the very moment Reid finally sat.  Stunned mostly. He was all in from that point forward. I can't even put into words the excitement.  Maybe that's why we danced!

Reid repeated key words, "Jews, Gentiles!" Laughed at appropriate places in Ray Bentley's quick summary of the history of Israel and their 7 feasts. Bentley explained how Jesus' death, burial and resurrection coincided exactly with the Feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread, and Firstfruits. He outlined the fall feasts that foretell the the second coming merely whetting our appetite for more. Jim whispered to me, "that's the part I don't get." Will any of us ever know it all?  The layers of prophetic meaning and multi-sensory richness in the Hebraic traditions are like the Word of God itself.  One could mine it forever and still find mind-blowing treasure. The great news is that our participation in the party is not contingent on full comprehension. Reid was modeling that for us.

This dress rehearsal party anticipating the rapture continued outside on the patio with a Phil Wickham concert and all manner of trumpet blowing. Which presented our next challenge. The ongoing challenge really, of answering where's Reido?

Mind you, Reid can get through a crowd quicker than Jim can get through an airport.  Like a lizard, he seemingly slithered under wheelchairs, through pews, over small children and was gone leaving me and Jim in the gridlock muttering pardon me, 'scuse me, sorry on his behalf.

Once we funneled out the doors, we split up with another silent high sign. Jim to check the car and I to scan the throngs of revelers. If the whole thing hadn't been so fun, we'd of left right then.  But it was perfect. I wanted a plastic shofar!  I wanted to stay all night.  Standing on a concrete wall in the cacophony of trumpet blasts from preschoolers and legitimate robed priests alike, it dawned on me.

I texted Jim: i'm by the stage guessing reid will be too once music starts.

And then again within minutes with this photo: found him

Reid in the cream tee; best available seat
He was right where I wanted to be: in the front!

God spoke to Moses: Tell the people of Israel, These are my appointed feasts, the appointed feasts of God which you are to decree as sacred assemblies.  Leviticus 23:1-3

The Master himself will give the command. Archangel thunder! God’s trumpet blast!  ... Oh, we’ll be walking on air! And then there will be one huge family reunion with the Master.   1 Thess. 4:16-17

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fleeing Boston

One of the things I miss most about Allie is her truth telling.

Toward the end of her senior year in high school this trait became more and more laughable as she expressed her opinions of my wardrobe.  In some psychosomatic effort to engage vicariously in her packing for college (and have something constructive to do myself since she would not let me help), I overhauled my own closet.  Emptied the entire thing including shoes and started from scratch to determine what, if anything, was still in style, fit and wasn't stained.  One needs an accountability partner to do this well.  Allie was mine.  With one glance she communicates so much: "Are you kidding me right now?" "Definitely Goodwill."  "Don't let me ever see you in that." or simply, "No." I ended up with a few decent items we now refer to as "Allie-approved."

She dared not comment on the pouch. I love my pouch--a flat Bagallini travel bag with a jillion zippers that rides over the shoulder. She'd donate it if she could. What bugs her is that I never take it off. "It looks like you're about to flee," was the truth be told.

Aha! That's exactly what I love about it. I am ready in an instant. My keyless ignition button is on my person. So is a pen, my wallet and library card. I have what I need at hand's reach. I am armed and ready whether Reid bolts out the door impulsively or I find myself with unexpected time for a Trader Joe's stop. I can turn on a dime with this pouch, like Kanga bounding through the Hundred Acre Wood after Roo.

As soon as she explained, I understood the sentiment. The pouch became a symbol of all the times she been the trailing sibling.  Left to shut the door; decide whether to follow or sit tight; have her own plans deferred.  For me, the pouch is practical. For Allie, it was a painful reminder that her mom might be gone a flash.

Alas, "She'll be back. Back real soon," to quote our favorite board book, Owl Babies by Martin Waddell. Like Jeneil's Hope on the first day of kindergarten or the eldest owl, Allie knows her time with mom will come, eventually.  And when it does, we savor it.

I didn't dash out of Boston as one friend suggested, "Tell her in advance that you're gonna hug her then turn and run like h*** so we aren't all embarrassed."  Not me.  I had cried my eyes out the week before.  So I was free to stand on the corner of Boylston and Mass Ave. Linger actually and watch Allie walk away from me. Toward her dorm, toward independence, into the unknown...knowing that she was leaving my nest but staying in the shelter of the Most High.

Hey, what's that around her neck?

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty...He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge... Psalm 91

Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. Psalm 63:6-8

Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings  Psalm 17:7-9