The Power Compels You: Celebrating Milestones During a Pandemic

While we might think of Covid as something that keeps us separated, in some cases it brings family home at just the right time

 

It took two years, but my daughter finally had her confirmation. Who knew, when the process first began back in 2019, that COVID would dare mess with Christ’s work and make gathering inside a church taboo. Suddenly the body and blood of Christ became forbidden fruit, and sharing a sip from a communal cup of wine and sharing the peace with one another are the worst things to be at. But the Lord works in mysterious ways, folks.

The pandemic and its fallout was the final straw that got my sister, a nurse, to pack up and leave Ontario with her two youngest and return to ‘The Rock.’ As a result, my niece had an opportunity to join my daughter’s confirmation class in year two of an attempt to begin their Christian journey on their own steam.

Elia Ghent and Claire Pardy-Freeman (Center left to right) with Regina and Ches Pardy (left and right, respectively)                                                  Photo: Submitted

CROOKED AS SIN & TOGETHER WITH KIN

At first, the gruesome twosome was a sorry-looking pair. When the classes resumed, they were literally crooked as sin as I dragged their sorry arses to church one early morning to restart the dragged-on pivotal process. When the priest asked my niece what she likes to do, she gloomily replied, ‘sleep,’ in reference to the fact I had dragged her pitiful behind out of bed before noon on a Sunday. At least she answered.

My daughter scowled and, using her best resting you-know-what face said nothing. I answered for her, out of pure horror, and said, ‘movies. She likes movies.’ The reverend, obviously used to facing evil, dared ask her, ‘Oh? And what kind of movies do you like?’ to which she replied, ‘movies about murder.’ Nice. This is going well.


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LOVE LOCKDOWN

Another COVID local lockdown meant that classes moved online, and at first, the girls had to be dragged along to attend each and every one. For one, I chased them around the house with my phone playing the Facebook Live classroom of Christ feed. But then one Thursday evening when I was busy being busy, I heard something going on in the background: Sunday School Class! And I didn’t even need to give a reminder.

At the rehearsal, the girls who had grumbled and refused to participate gleefully accepted church scripture readings and sang songs praising the Lord, including enthusiastic hand gestures. Hallelujah! The ladies shopped for clothing worthy of a solemn church service too, taking quite seriously the significant occasion. Yet still, we joked and tormented. My sister and I enjoyed telling people that Elia and Claire “needed Jesus” and wouldn’t be able to make it to music class or to some other event that coincided with that week’s confirmation class.

Pam Pardy (Right) with her daughter Elia Ghent                                                                                                                                                                            Photo: Submitted

HIGHWAY TO HUMOUR

Finally, the big day arrived and the girls were actually excited. They made sure anyone who couldn’t make it to the service because of location or COVID restrictions received the live link to follow along and they dressed to impress. They did their readings, they sang, and they held their candle with pride. Of course, the Lord always works in mysterious ways and loves to demonstrate His sense of humour.

On the way to the service, I turned on the radio only to hear Highway to Hell. I turned it up on bust, naturally.

LEMON PIES & COUNTRY SKIES

For more proof that miracles do happen, I’ve had the makings of a lemon pie on my counter for over a week. I just hadn’t gotten around to actually making it. A few hours before the service, my mother asked if I happened to have an extra tin of tomatoes sitting around for her to use for her supper prep. I did, and, mostly as a joke, I also passed down my abandoned pie supplies. She raised an eyebrow but took the works.

Half an hour later, mudder popped up with the finished product. She had actually made the pie! ‘Ask and ye shall receive,’ my mom said, and we ate the pie for dessert before heading off to church.

Mom may not have turned water into wine — which by the way would have really impressed me because I was sadly out of vino — but she did turn lemon pie mix into a lemon pie, and the girls, by eventually buying into the whole confirmation process totally on their own, turned their original sour lemons into sweet tasting lemonade.

Amen!

The Herald’s Staff Blogs series is a great way to get to know your own, local talent, find writers and content that appeals to you, and gives readers the chance to connect with our staff. Pam Pardy —the Managing Editor of The Newfoundland Herald— can be reached at pghent@nfldherald.com.

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