Last weekend my brother in law (the artist) and his family came over to our house. We got to laughing about something that to us was incredibly funny. His grandmother, the wonderful Peg has always been a devout Catholic woman. She grew up in a very doctrine Irish Catholic household. To our knowledge she has not even ever been to another church of another faith-other than to attend a wedding or funeral. For sometime following Peg's move into the assisted living facility she would still attend mass, either catching a ride from a church member, by the assisted living facility bus or by a family member that would gladly take her. Today her illness is such that she no longer attend. Sadly, she does not even know what day of the week it is any longer. She no longer mentions church. It would be to much for her to do, even if she did.
A couple years ago there was a family picnic at the Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Hoover. Knowing how special it would be to Peg, we (our family, my MIL and my brother in law and his family) all planned to attend the picnic with Peg. And if there is one thing I have learned about the Catholic faith, is that you do not pass up a fellowship at the catholic church. Where else can my kids play games and jump on a moonwalk, as I sit at a bingo table with grandma while my husband and his brother nurse a couple beers? LOL. Not many. That is family entertainment at it's best.
The arrangements were made, my brother in law would pick up Peg from her assisted living facility and take her to mass. Following mass was the picnic, where the rest of us would meet the two of them. We arrived a little bit early and waited outside for mass to end. Soon enough, it did and the parishioners began to file out of the church into the parking lot where the festivities were set up. But not the artist or the wonderful Peg. They were no where to be seen. I went inside the church to take a look while Big Daddy began trying to contact the Artist on his cell phone, certain that we had overlooked one another. After not locating them inside the church, I returned outside. Big Daddy was unable to reach his brother on his cell phone. For about an hour we continued to call to no avail. We grew concerned. Finally, Big Daddy's phone rang....it was the artist to say that they were on their way. He said that he would explain when he got to us. Again, we were baffled at what could have happened.
Eventually the artist found his way to us, with Peg on his arm and began to explain what had caused the delay. It seems, being from out of town, and not familiar with the location of the catholic church that he had gotten lost. Someone from the assisted living facility had given him directions, which he listened to and tried to memorize in his head. He began to recite all the major roadways. Going down one major thoroughfare, he recalled the desk clerk saying that the church was Right off of this main road. He looked up and saw in the distance a huge church. As he approached he saw a police officer in the roadway giving directions. He followed the hand directions of the policeman who waved them into the church parking lot. The artist parked his car and a shuttle service came by and picked up both he and Peg. Inside they realized the place was very crowded. The only seats left were ones in the balcony. As they sat down and began to look around, it was then that the artist began to think something might be amiss. No where did he see Jesus on a crucifix, he recalled. Then the lights dimmed, colored lights shown upon the stage and a full band began to play. Some singers took the stage and began to clap along with the music. Peg learned over to the artist and whispered, " I think we are in the wrong place...."and began to chuckle. The artist, also began to laugh. "I think you are right!". He asked the person next to him to borrow their program. They were in a Baptist church-Peg's first visit to the Baptist faith after eighty seven years of life. They both sat together in the pew, laughing and enjoying their mistake. "I know God was laughing at me!" Peg said as she told of her church visit, "He has a great sense of humor,ya know!". The artist laughed at seeing his devout grandmother take part and clap along to the music. They stayed for the entire service-there was no way they were going to crawl over the other occupants on the pew. They were also a good distance from the church entrance to walk, which Peg was struggling with. They stayed and enjoyed.
Sometimes you might have one plan, but it is true that the Lord might have another for you. And yes, Peg, he does have a sense of humor, and acceptance. He can be found anywhere you seek Him.
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