Maybe not THE Good Friday story, but definitely in our family, the following story is referred to often. Paul will say, “Does she know the Good Friday story?” or “You should tell him the Good Friday story.” It is definitely a story that has survived the years and the telling.
It was a good Friday, the Friday before Easter and my kids had the day off of school. They were 13,11, 9 and Paul was 4. We didn’t have plans for the day except for my nephew coming to install a new kitchen floor for us so the kids were all in their separate rooms, probably playing a video game of their choosing. My friend who is a pastor’s wife called and said that our family should join her church family for their cross walk. Annually this group of worshipers carry a wooden cross through the streets of town to represent Jesus carrying the cross to His crucifixion. Of course, I thought it was a good idea, but my older kids were reluctant to be drug away from their activities. I nagged at them to remind them of the true reason for the season and that they should thank Jesus that they were out of school for the day. They were donning their hats, gloves, and coats as I nagged and preached. It’s what moms do to instill righteous guilt during the Easter season. We arrived at the church complete with somber scowls and bad attitudes. Between taking their turn carrying the cross, they would come to me and whine, “I have snow in my hood.” “My socks are wet.” “My glove has a hole in it and my fingers are cold.” Each complaint was met with my canned answer. “Jesus suffered a lot more than this, so keep going.” Each time, they came to me with their complaint and I responded with the same answer. Last but not least, Paul came up to me and quietly said, “Before I say anything, I want you to know something…Jesus was NOT wearing these shoes!!!” I gasped! You see, Paul had a physical disability and had received new orthotics the day before. He received these braces that fit inside his shoes with the instructions that he was to wear them for an hour, then take them off for two hours, then try to wear them for another hour and then take a break for two hours until his feet adjusted to wearing them. I had totally forgotten that he had them on as I whisked him out the door. The poor kid’s feet were swollen on the bottom and I didn’t carry the cross to the church, but I carried him to the church. I’m not sure if scripture says what kind of shoes Jesus was wearing that day, I don’t believe any and at that moment, Paul wishes he would’ve been the same.