I went to church with my friend Nina today. She invited me a while ago and I figured Easter is a good day to take her up on the offer.
Nina attends a multicultural charismatic church called His People Christian Church of Johannesburg. Services take place in a large auditorium. There is a full band and lots of singing. My plan was to sit back, watch the service, and enjoy the music.
The service kicked off with three or four hymns in a row. The words to the songs, which I would describe as modern religious ballads, were projected onto a screen at the front of the hall. The songs were all about death and rebirth and overcoming adversity.
I looked around. Most of the congregation was clapping, or standing with arms akimbo, swaying to the music and singing along. Some people had their eyes closed and called out an occasional “Amen”.
I felt a few tears coming on. The more I listened to the music, and read about death and rebirth on the big screen, the more I thought about Jon. I began to sob. There was no stopping it. I cried for the entire 90-minute service.
I thought I was finished with these episodes of spontaneous crying. Apparently not.
Fortunately I decided to spend the afternoon at Child Haven, the children’s home where Nina works. The kids at Child Haven were celebrating Easter by playing on a jumping castle, climbing the jungle gym, and hunting for chocolate eggs. The weather was warm and perfectly sunny. We ate candy, chicken from KFC, and homemade chips (French fries). The kids made me forget all about how sad I felt.
Thank goodness for smiling kids. And thank goodness for Nina. Happy Easter, everyone.