For the first time in many years, I celebrated the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ in Huntsville, Alabama with friends and family.
My "sister" and "brother-in-law" (in quotations, only because we are not blood-related, but that doesn't matter after all these years) Marti and Anthony Stone invited me to worship with them at the First United Methodist Church of Huntsville. It was terrific. The Senior Pastor, Don Cross, preached an incredible message on the "Mysterious Ways of God"--it was profound.
I had never worshipped among this congregation, even though I had heard of them for years, and was very well aware of their location.
After lunch, the "clan" gathered at the home of Jim and Jane Pearson (Marti's mom). These two wonderful people have been "parents" to me in many ways for more than 20+ years now. I grew up in a trailor about 1.5 miles from them. The Pearsons continue to be the epitome of class, grace, and what it means to be all-around great people.
The meal was marvelous (as always in Jane's kitchen). Everything I know about "class and style" I learned in the home of Jane Pearson. I can thank her for everything I have learned about dignity, and "doing it right."
Later that evening, I was blest to see my good friend Rod Stansky. Rod and I have a friendship history that stretches more than twenty years also. We became friends while students at Lee College (now Lee University...www.leeuniversity.edu), and have remained friends over the years. I have known his parents for many years. His precious mother (Frances) never forgets my birthday, or any other special occasion. I can always count on a card, or a gift from she and her husband, Bernard.
Rod and I found our way to a TGI-Fridays, where we had a great meal (I paid, of course), and some wonderful conversation. Rod is one of those people that I can pour my heart out to, regardless of the subject matter. He and I have discussed things that I would never--not in a million years--even breathe to anyone else.
Few people have had the profound and strategic impact on my life that Rod has had over our many years of friendship. His sense of humor, his graciousness, and his open-heart continues to endear him to me, and many others.
So Easter 2006 was indeed a great day for me. It was a day of "Resurrection" in more ways than one.