Today would have been my dad’s 84th birthday. I sent him a birthday card early just in case he didn’t reach this day, but Mom told me that he wasn’t opening his eyes anymore by the time it reached him. “Sadness,” my friend Diane would say. He’s not here this year, but he’s enjoying a party that far outshines anything we could have dreamt up.
Today we attended a Polish church service with another IM couple. This city has 80,000 people and only 100 believers between two Protestant congregations. On the way to church, we drove past a massive Catholic cemetery approximately the size of a city block. Grave upon grave upon grave. The majority were covered with marble and decorated with flowers and candles. Across the street was an open market with sellers and their wares – grave candles and floral arrangements. Again, as Diane would say, “Sadness.” One thing I noticed was that no one seems to smile here. There’s a sense of heaviness in this place, as in many other places.
The evening sessions were well received by the women at the sponsoring church. One little lady reminded me of my grandmother. We tried to communicate but it was difficult without my knowing any Polish words and her knowing only a handful of English. What a delightful woman she was, though. More goodbyes, more kisses, and more prayers for God to build His kingdom in this place.