God's grace evident in Zoom service, trip to store

Grocery shopping before a holiday always causes me a bit of angst as I try to find the perfect time when everything on my list will be on the shelves and the fewest number of customers will be in the store.

My anxiety was exacerbated last week with social distancing on my mind. When would most people head out to buy food for Easter dinner? Good Friday? Saturday? Should I go early? Late?

I settled on Thursday after work. I had two hours before our church's Maundy Thursday Zoom service started, and I thought that would be plenty of time.

I was wrong.

Everything seemed to take longer, from returning my Oberweis bottles at my first stop to securing half a dozen macarons (for Ainsley's Easter basket) at my second. When I was done, I still hadn't located the cup and a half of creme fraiche I needed for the potato gratin. I was frazzled, frustrated - and tired of wearing my mask.

I also was horribly late. When I looked at the clock, I realized church would start in 15 minutes and I wasn't even home yet. I called Dan and suggested Ainsley hurry up and have her Italian beef sandwich, so she wouldn't get crabby from eating too late (wonder where she got that from?).

But she and her father were getting ready to sing "Were You There" early in the service. Eating a giant sandwich before singing was not advisable, he told me, suggesting she eat DURING the service. I was horrified by visions of au jus running down the side of her mouth and bread crumbs cascading down the front of her shirt for everyone on Zoom to see.

I arrived home in a panic a few minutes later. We managed to join Zoom on time, and the first thing our pastor did was ask everyone what they were having to eat and/or drink. She held up a plate of cheese and crackers; someone else showed off a stuffed pepper.

I had missed the email indicating we would be virtually sharing a meal to commemorate Jesus' last supper with his disciples. I felt a huge wave of relief.

Dan and Ainsley sang, then she ate her sandwich. I was reminded, once again, that things work out. By the grace of God, they work out, even if not according to my master plan.

That theme carried throughout my Easter weekend.

It was evident in our visit to Lexington Square in Lombard, where we stood on one side of the parking lot to wave to my father-in-law on his 91st birthday and then moved to the other to offer a pre-Easter wave to my mom and her sweetheart. It came to mind as we watched the Easter morning service online from our family room. And when I finally found the creme fraiche in time to make the potatoes.

The weekend in many ways was nothing like the Easter weekends we've experienced in the past - or the one we had planned. But all the truly important pieces were there - seeing our family and friends (even if through a window or from across the back yard), sharing a delicious meal (packaged and dropped off, in some cases) and celebrating Jesus' triumph over death.

"You can't always get what you want," the lyrics to my favorite song remind us. "But if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need."

Thanks be to God.

- Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean. Readers can email her at [email protected].

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Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean