14 March 2012
Laetare. Mom's orders.
I, for all practical purposes, do not have a mother church. The church where I grew up is no longer a place where I can go on Easter to sing "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" with each verse rising a half-step to a thundering, golden finale of impossible height. It breaks my heart, for there is a sense in which there is no church like one's home church. I want that glorious Easter back. It's not just that I personally can't get there. It doesn't exist.
That's not good, but it has helped me understand the obvious fact that part of growing up is being able to leave Mom. I have to be able to love someone else's pie if I'm ever going to be happy eating pie again. Is my stubborn insistence that only my mom can make a good pie worth never enjoying ANY pie? Of course I will always love my own dear Mom's own dear pie, but she would be the first to tell me I was an idiot to mope every time someone else's dear mom put a piece of pie in front of me. The truth is, lots of moms are really good at making pie. Mom would also be completely disgusted with me if I didn't know it was beyond rude to mope if someone is kind enough to make a pie and give me a piece, even if it's not the world's best pie.
So as I approach another Laetare feeling a bit orphanish, I am glad that the place that was my mother church was not really my mother. I haven't even had my real mother's pie yet. One parish is not the Church. One building is not Jerusalem. One hymn is not the Song. One pastor is not the Shepherd. Each little Easter, wherever I happen to be for it, brings me closer in every way to the big one. God grant me the grace to receive what I am given, however modest, with thanks and rejoicing.