This past Sunday, April 1st, 2012 marked a variety of things for me in my life. One, it was a blessed day because we celebrated my husband's birthday. We gave him a Kindle and made a crown from the wrapper.
This year he is in the last year of his sixties. I cannot believe he is going to turn 70 next year. It marks a milestone of sorts because it's within one month of the major heart attack he had on May 8th, 2007. The doctors told him that most men who have the damage he had to his heart are not around to talk about it 5 years later. I suppose that is because most men don't have a wife like me who makes him mind his "P's and Q's", eat properly, take medications faithfully, and exercise regularly. I was so grateful to be celebrating his special day.
The day is bittersweet for our family. My son who was killed on Mother's Day of 2005 was not here to give my husband his annual Boston Red Sox cap. The fact that April 1st comes and goes without Chad's presence leaves a void, only God can fill. And He does. With family surrounding us and sharing one another's love.
Another thing about April 1st in our family is my sister-in-law, Valerie, married her husband that day in honor of her dear brother. But Val's husband died last year of mouth cancer that he battled for several years. So, she was meeting her anniversary without him. It was a hard day. I spent some time trying to encourage and comfort her with empathy I learned through the loss of my son. She emailed and told me she was too messed up to even call her brother and wish him Happy Birthday. We understood. Completely. Sometimes the pain is too fresh, too deep and too difficult to even pick up the phone, nevermind, call someone to wish them happiness when we should have been able to return the greeting with a Happy Anniversary. She sent me a sweet email the next day about the grace of God. I sent her an email back with a link to a super uplifting song about how Mom's look the other way when their sons are not all they want them to be. She has two sons. Val said she cried again, but that time it was a good kinda cry. Emotions ran from one spectrum to the other on Sunday.
Of all things, one of my best email buddies, whom I've known since I started blogging in 2006, emailed to tell me her first grandchild arrived on...drum-roll please. April 1st. I'm so excited for her. What a joy to hear!
Couple that with the wonderful fact that we were able to have our son's two girls with us to celebrate my husband's birthday dinner, and that both my shift-working grandsons had schedules that allowed them to be with us to celebrate the big 69, it turned out to be a wonderful day. My daughter's girls and my son's girls and I went for a meadow-walk in the back 40 acres.
To top it off, it was Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter. We celebrated how Christ entered Jerusalem to the praises of the multitudes and the shouts of Hosanna! What a perfect way for us to fuse our celebration remembrances of earthly things to the eternal remembrance of our King. Celebrations. Praises.
Some folks may be amused to take April 1st and concoct ridiculous hoaxes, and treat folks as FOOLS. Some folks find sport in spending the day thinking up ways to trick others into believing a lie for their own pleasure and amusement. You wouldn't believe the jokes my husband has had played on him at times. This year we got a flat tire on our way back from Texas from picking up our granddaughters. Nail in the tire. Not funny.
However, something unique and significant occurred this year-- much different than most years. And some folks paid no mind to it. They had no regard to what might be objectionable...or dishonorable for remembering Christ's entrance to Jerusalem, or His weeklong preparation to shed His blood on the cross for us. I do wonder sometimes what in the world we find amusing about some things made for secular godless thought. As I considered sharing this post, I happened to open an email I received.
And I opened up a devotional from Dr. Adrian Rogers delivered to my email several hours ago from his daily devotional site. In light of all the events and circumstances which surrounded my life the last few days, and the life of Christ so many years ago on Palm Sunday, I found it rather ironic that Dr. Rogers shared the origin of the word "AMUSE":
"It's a combination of two words. Muse means to think, and the alpha prefix in front of it means "not to."
Perhaps that is the major problem with us in the world today. We want to amuse ourselves with basketball, Nascar, hoaxes, and pranks at another's loss or expense. We want to amuse ourselves, please ourselves, and don't think what it may cost another for our amusement and pleasure. We fail to take time to consider the marvels of our Creator as we rush about our day to amuse ourselves. We muse amiss. And when our muse gets away from us, our thinking is out of control. Simply put, we don't think. We don't think about feelings. We don't think about consequence. We don't think about another's perception. Nor do we think about God's. And that may be the least amusing thing about "April Fools Day" to date. If so, the joke is on us, don't you think? selahV