A different sort of Easter: Christ in disguise?
On Easter Sunday, after reminding ourselves of Mass by watching our bishop’s live-stream from the Cathedral of St. Thomas More—and after eating a brunch made partly by my son, Peter, with whom we had swapped a home-made coffee cake for a home-made egg casserole by leaving things for each other on his doorstep—my wife and I decided to stop by our parish church before finding an open park where we could go for a walk.
Our church admits a continuous small number of people for ongoing Eucharistic adoration, but when we arrived it was at its limit, so after a relatively brief prayer from behind the last pew, we walked back to our car. On the way, we met a homeless woman who needed a ride to the city of Fairfax, about a half-hour’s drive to the east. She carried her belongings in two wheeled carts which we could easily stow in the trunk of the car.
The lady gave us each a plastic colored egg with some candy in it, and showed us some other things she had made by way of Easter crafts for children. On this friendly basis, we all clambered into our car and pointed it in the right direction. On the way through Manassas, she mentioned that she had not had much to eat lately, and asked if we could stop at McDonald’s to get her something. I missed the turn into Mickey D’s, pulling into the Wendy’s lot next door instead; but she preferred the Golden Arches, so we turned around and got her lunch from the drive-through.
A little later, entering the environs of Fairfax, she wondered aloud whether we would like to make a donation to help her pay for food and, hopefully, to help her to continue her craft work for kids. Of course we said we would be happy to do so, passing along what seemed appropriate as we unloaded her belongings at her destination. Then we said our goodbyes, though we did not embrace.
This unexpected detour completed, we drove back to a park which we hoped would be open, so we could take that lovely walk. But after winding through a number of back roads we found the entrance entirely blocked off. It may have been considered too dangerous to unleash a pack of wild citizens to infect each other on public land. Or, after all, perhaps it was thought better simply to keep park employees at home. In Virginia, we have found some parks open to reasonable numbers, and others closed, depending on the jurisdiction.
Clearly, life is not always a walk in the park.
But I tell you this: We had done very little, but we had no doubt that it was Easter.
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