Five Sentences on Sunday Morning

As the final hymn begins
I leave church,
smiling at John,
our friendly and familiar usher,
to hurry to the car
to pull it up near the door
so my almost 94 year old mother
won’t have too far to walk.

I back out of the parking space
and pass the parked cars
of those still singing the final hymn together
as I drive forward
away from the exit
towards the door,
lowering the visor
because it is a sunshine soft spring day.

My mother, who has walked part way to the curb,
stands leaning on her cane,
her face lit with joy and laughter
as she talks with a little girl
and her toddler brother
who buzz around my mother
like bees around a bent sunflower.

I sit quietly for a moment
watching my mother,
my white, deep South, segregation,
Jim Crow born and bred mother
laughing in the sunshine after mass
with two small black children.

Big things are still wrong
with the church and the world
but this morning I am grateful
for grace
in sunshine
in a new memory,
an outward sign
of God’s presence and power.

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