This weekend I felt very stressed. The situation with my dad is getting complicated and he's beginning to feel discouraged by the "one thing after another" that constitutes his life. This is all new to us; he's been taking care of himself incredibly well, without our input, for eighty-six years.
I felt conflicted about whether to go to see him, but had numerous things to catch up on - yes, I'm still trying to get caught up from the hospital stay - and then my minister called and asked if I could fix lunch for a group that was playing in church on Sunday. I decided to stay.
Unusually, we also had something to do every night of the weekend. Friday night we met friends for dinner; Saturday night we went to hear the group that was playing on Sunday at the church. It was a ten-piece group called Funkadesi and they were awesome. I was excited about them playing in church and they did not disappoint. They processed in playing drums and cowbells and other instruments I don't know the name of, and had the congregation dancing and clapping and grinning within seconds of their entrance. At lunch they were gracious and grateful for our hospitality.
One of the things that I had planned to do on Saturday was schedule the rest of the facilitators for our fall book study. This should have involved many phone calls, but because I cooked instead, no calls got made. By going to church, though, I was able to find the rest of the facilitators by asking face to face. A gift I had not expected.
Right after my dad was sick, when I was tired and irrational, I wrote a few of my friends and berated them for "not paying attention to me while my dad was sick" or something like that. I have since apologized for my ridiculous behavior; and one of the friends, a nurse, has been my most valuable resource for dealing with some of my dad's problems. Every time I talk to her she reassures me and gives me concrete actions to take to help my dad, and she spent a while with me on the phone last night.
All of this rambling is to say this: Grace comes in unexpected ways. If we can just put aside our worries and stop putting up barriers, we will see grace standing there waiting for us. It wasn't the weekend I expected, but I'm filled with gratitude for the way it turned out.