Gendusa: Things to remember on a Sunday morning walk
Published 10:00 am Thursday, April 13, 2017
Last week was one of those weeks when Sunday went to Sunday in two days. I just don’t know what happened! Every day just seemed to be packed with “get to do’s done,” “don’t forget memos,” and “got to get in exercises.”
I took a quick trip to LaGrange to meet with my sweet editor, Jennifer, and have lunch. Hurry, hurry, and hurry was the rule of the week. I did not even have time to run by the old house, call on friends, or buy shoes at Solomon’s in my favorite town. Now, that’s bad.
By Sunday morning I was exhausted. I woke up, drank my coffee, and then decided to take a long walk.
On many occasions when I take walks alone, I try to contemplate the subject and words for my next column. Often, I commune with God, say a prayer, and ask for inspiration. Those walks seem to clear my head and get me headed in a better direction.
It was a beautiful Sunday morning. The sky was clear blue and seemed to be higher than normal. The streaks of clouds were mixed with vapor trails from the jets I could clearly see as the sun glinted off their shiny metal. The cool air was warming with each step and I kept looking to make sure God was somewhere around to help me come up with an idea for a story.
Then I approached the perfect dogwood tree blooming and looming upward to the sky. It was full of blossoms that looked whiter than most. The tree stood proudly among the new greenery of oaks, pines, and maples. Where the other dogwoods were slowly losing a bit of their luster, this one was as if it dared itself to lose even one petal.
I couldn’t help but walk toward it. I pulled one of the branches down to study the flowers.
“Yes, it does look like a cross with a crown of thorns in the middle. There is the blood of the Lord on each petal which is so thin that I can’t believe this stays on a branch!” I said to myself as I remembered the legend of the dogwood tree.
“Lynn, what is today?” I heard a voice within my soul speaking as if I was not very smart.
“Huh?” I thought.
Then as if the dogwood fell on my head, I remembered it was Palm Sunday! And, no I wasn’t in church and yes, you are right, I needed the dogwood to fall on my head!
How could I forget it was Palm Sunday?! As I contemplated this, I took the little flower in my hand and thought about the Lord’s week long ago that was filled with terror, heartache, abuse, injustice, betrayal, and ultimately, victory. By contrast, my week was just busy.
In my busyness, I forgot that this was the beginning of Holy Week. A week that starts with praise for Jesus as he walks down a path on Sunday and by Friday, He is walking down a road filled with people cheering for His crucifixion.
I broke off a little twig with a dogwood flower from the tree and held it in my hand as I continued my long walk. The petals were so fragile and beautiful. I touched the stain of reddish brown on each petal, and felt sadness as my finger passed over the thorny green in the middle of the blossom. I felt joy when I saw that the flower was supported by tiny new green leaves.
The whole story of Holy week is told in the little flower of the dogwood tree. Life, death, and renewal. The Lord was a beautiful gift from God and the cross the petals form is a wonderful reminder.
As I continued my shameful walk, I again looked up to heaven.
“Father, I apologize for being so busy with my week that I forgot about yours. Please, forgive me.”
With the little blossom, still in my hand, I keenly noticed the radiant colors of the earth. The green canopy of trees gently swayed as if they were keeping a beat to a song I couldn’t hear.
Memories flooded my soul as I thought about past Easters with grandparents, children, cousins, and my parents. Egg hunts, dinners, baskets, flowers, and church services consumed our day.
“Wait, my parents!” I suddenly thought. “What day is today?!”
Not only was it Palm Sunday, but it was April 9th, my parents’ anniversary. They were married after church services on an Easter Sunday in 1939. I am comforted that today they are together again beyond the blue sky.
WOW! Am I glad I went on this walk! I might have forgotten Christmas if I hadn’t!
Sometimes in life when we get too busy or too forgetful because we are, we should take a walk with God. He will slow us down to look at the infinite sky, the radiant earth, and the blossoming dogwood tree.
He will show us how we are so important to Him that He took the time out of His week to lay down His life for us.
He will also show us the road to redemption, forgiveness, and understanding because He simply loves us even if we sometimes do forget important things.
He will even give us a gift when we least expect it…. like a story to write.
Happy Easter to all, notice the dogwoods, and have a nice walk.
Lynn Walker Gendusa is a former LaGrange resident who currently resides in Roswell. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org