Friday, May 03, 2013
Good Friday and Barbecue?
It's Good Friday. The services don't begin until 3:00. A holy person would probably spend the first part of the day in stillness. I spend it cleaning my barbecue. Yes, it is my annual pre-Pascha barbecue scrub and meditation.
Beginners at prayer can seldom spend more than a little while at a time just sitting or standing in prayer. We get fidgety. When there is a lot of time that should be spent in quiet prayer, there is nothing so useful as a really messy job to keep people away, to keep my hands busy and to keep my mind from wandering (too much). True, I don't say many prayers, per se, while I scrape and scrub; but it is a rather peaceful and very messy hour or two.
Every year at the Pascha party, I get to run the barbecue. Others offer to do it for me, but I fend them off. I actually look forward to it every year. We do the party potluck style, so I never know what kind of meat, fish, fowl or veggie to expect. It's a fun challenge for me to get everything on and off and cooked to order. I have to be mindful of what kind of heat and how much time each kind of food requires. I get to chat with everyone, but I don't get drawn into any deep conversations: "Oops! Got a flare up to deal with! Quick, go get me a cup of water!"
And I love that we get lots of visitors, friends of friends, reluctant family members and neighbours. It's a great mix. This year my atheist French teacher is coming. Even an atheist can enjoy the Light of Pascha. She's a wonderful person (my atheist French teacher). She's not the angry kind of atheist. If I had to guess, I'd say she is the disappointed kind. She doesn't mind "religious" people (though she does jab a little now and then for fun--just to see if we will squirm); she just hasn't herself found any reality in religion, only bad experiences with religious people. I hope she has a great time and the Light of Pascha gently touches her heart.
Well I'd better get cleaned up and ready. Good Friday services are always a powerful mix of sadness and expectation.