Good Friday

April 7, 2012

A Global Episcopal Mission Network (GEMN) colleague asked me to post something about my Holy Week experience in Cochabamba. Well, my Holy Week has been odd, to say the least, and I’m no longer in Cochabamba. I’m keeping vigil on this Good Friday sitting in the airport in La Paz. I arrived around 7:45 PM from Cochabamba, and am waiting for a flight home to Bogota at 5:00 AM … Argh!

Since my luggage wasn’t checked through, and I’m having to sit in the main terminal until the airline is ready to check us in … probably some time after 3:30 AM … I need to stay reasonably awake for the next several hours to keep an eye on my belongings.

Interestingly, a yellow labrador retriever has taken up residence at my feet. He hobbled over a couple of hours ago and stood next to me for about 10 minutes, leaning against my bags. Initially, I thought he might be sniffing for coca in my luggage, something I’m sure airport dogs in Bolivia are trained to do. But he never put his nose against my bags, nor has anyone come along to claim him. At one point he looked up at me, then snuggled down at my feet and went off to sleep, which is where he has been ever since.

Maybe he senses something such as that it’s safe beside me, given I’m a dog person. Maybe he is some kind of reminder to me of Christ’s presence tonight. Maybe he’s just here to keep vigil with me as I wait for my flight. (As I type this, his feet are moving in a rhythm and he is making low barking tones, clearly in a puppy dream state.) Whatever has brought this dog to my feet, its strangely comforting and has given me opportunity to do some spirititual reflection about keeping vigil on Good Friday.

It’s interesting to note the things that can bring us into a spiritual state of mind. I was missing not attending a Good Friday service this evening, and yet here I am having an opporunity to reflect on what it means to keep vigil. It’s not the spiritual experience I would have chosen … but then again, when do we ever get to choose our spiritual experiences?

I count my blessings that I find Christ in any number of ways and places, no matter how odd they might be to others. Maybe that makes me a little strange. Whatever it makes me … as I sit here waiting for my flight to Bogota, I’m glad to have this time to reflect and appreciate Christ’s presence in my life … and this dog’s presence at my feet.

I wish you many Easter blessings!

2 Responses to “Good Friday”

  1. Thank you, Ted, for this gentle reminder of God’s presence in simple assurances… a blind dog offering comfort… Happy arrivals and joyous Easter to you!


  2. Maria Fenn Says:

    I have just read this post, and it is Monday. Having had a very tumultuous Easter weekend, it is good to read your blog about your own start to a “different” Easter weekend. Please keep ’em coming.


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