I'm not sure why, but it seems I always reflect on one particular good Friday since it happened. I was trying to remember the year this afternoon and I just couldn't think of it. I think I had already graduated college, but I can't remember for sure.
I was driving home from Michigan, it was strange weather, they were calling for severe storms later that evening. I always headed home early on Good Friday to attend our Good Friday services, I hadn't missed one yet because I enjoyed them so much.
I'm heading down 23 south just enjoying my music and I came up on stopped traffic just outside of Dundee Michigan. I still had plenty of time so I wasn't rushed or upset, it was not uncommon for stops on 23 so I just slowed down and stopped. I enjoyed my music for awhile longer, had a cigarette or two and started to get a little antsy when I noticed people were sitting on their cars instead of in their cars, so I got out of my car as well.
A nice guy (who was pretty easy on the eyes as well) came up and started talking to me. He had already ventured up a few cars or so and found out there was a 12 car pile up a few miles ahead. We chatted for awhile, more people came up and we all chatted as a group. We talked about where we were headed, what we did, the usual small talk. My topic of Good Friday services started a conversation about other Good Friday services and some of them shared what their churches do. Some of the non church goers moved on to other groups on the highway, others stayed and asked questions. We didn't really share a lot about faith, but it was neat to hear stories from other churches.
My church does a song or two, has a sermon and then they read the passion history from Luke in something like 8 parts and after each part they extinguish a candle and have some form of special music and then move on to the next. All leading to a completely dark and quiet sanctuary. At the end the choir sings the first two or three verses of "Were you there" as they slowly one by one leave the front of the church. The front of the church is bare after the Maunday Thursday stripping of the alter and no one is left up front and the only light was the dimly lit spotlight highlighting our wooden cross drapped with black netting. As we sit in silence they play a soundtrack of a thunderstorm I put together back in middle school and use a rigged spotlight from the balcony to represent lightning. It's quite an experience and there is rarely a dry eye as we leave in silence not to return until we arrive Easter morning in silence and await the grand processional.
Anyway, I'm back in my car reading a book and the I noticed the wind changed. I looked up to see the early evening sky was changing and it didn't look good. I switch on to find a local radio station to figure out how bad this storm was going to be. Just as I found the local station they broke in with the Emergency Broadcast Signal to notify the area of tornados all over the county. Just about that time the rain started........then came the hail. I've watched enough about tornados to know that it wasn't looking good. For some reason I wasn't really panicked. It might have been stupidity or shock, but I think it was faith. It was an odd feeling when the nasty thunderstorms started. Lightning all around, thunder that rattled the car, as a thunderstorm lover it was amazing.
As the storm lightened up, they got the accident cleared and we were on our way again. I got home just as my parents got home from the service, I had missed it, but I felt in a way I had a more real service than the one I missed. I tried to imagine while I was in that storm what it was like when Jesus passed. The ground opening up, the terrible storm, the feeling that things were about to change forever and it was something I just never forget. The feeling of raw power from God, it just seemed so fitting to be sitting there on the highway experiencing it all.
There is no way to really close this post, I just thought I would share.