Sunday, March 23, 2008

Above All, Hope

The twice-a-year Catholics showed up again, this time for Easter. As this movable feast moved quickly in 2008, it was only three months ago they were crowding the church for Christmas. Seems as how those are the only two days us regulars have a hard time finding a seat, unless we show up real early and stake out a spot. Up front is always the best pickings, as in any denomination.

As one of the regulars, I am strangely heartened by the appearance of the occasionals. They represent that hanging-on of hope which never goes away. Even if they don’t join their neighbors in worship services the rest of the year, there’s still the importance of the birth and resurrection that has become ingrained in us.

When I’m sitting there with all the familiar faces around me, I get a feeling that I can go on for another week. These are the people who are struggling just like me, good times and bad, hanging in. If they can make it, so can I; maybe they see me and think the same thing.

But when others come out of the woodwork only rarely, I look at them and think, “They’ve been away, but they know where to come when they want to express their hope. Too bad they can’t be here more often, but at least they haven’t forgotten where the place is and they still recognize what we are here for."

So we move in a bit and make room for the stranger.


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