Wednesday is a hallowed day of the week for me.
As a youth director, Wednesdays are work nights, more or less, since the main youth program I help orchestrate meets on this day during the school year. But while I’m “on the clock,” it doesn’t always feel like work. I look forward to my time with the youth, and in a larger sense, with my church family as a whole. In lieu of having biological family in the area, my church people are the ones who fill that void, affirm me, forgive me, and allow me to love and be loved.
While at this stage in my life and ministry, Wednesdays really ARE hallowed here in the Bible Belt, the mid-week marker hasn’t always been church-related for me.
When I was working as a sports writer, Wednesdays were often my days off, or at the very least, a short day, since most sports refrained from scheduling regular season games on those nights, out of reverence of church functions. And when you worked 4-5 nights a week, any evening off meant the whole day was good.
Many of those Wednesdays working at the newspaper included lunches with my best friend, Jennifer. Jennifer and I both worked downtown, and we would meet weekly for lunch at our favorite haunt — Doe’s Eat Place. We did this for about five years, making our way up one side of the menu and down the other. Occasionally we’d veer off to another restaurant, but we’d always come back to the one, begging unspoken forgiveness for our infidelity.
Our standard order: Grilled shrimp salad, house dressing, half-and-half iced tea, with a side of toast for her. Black-and-blue salad, steak cooked medium, house dressing, ice water, and a side of toast for me.
But even before I was a youth director, or a sports writer, or a best friend, I was a daughter. Wednesdays during the summer were times when my mom and I made our pilgrimages to town.
Growing up on the dead end of a dirt road, going to “town” was always a big deal. As an adult, going to “town” seems more like an inconvenience, but as a kid, it was special.
Mom would drive into town specifically to buy the newspaper, getting copies of all the weekly grocery ads — she was extreme couponing before it was cool — and had to scour the local stores for sales.
We’d buy the paper at Git n’ Go (tragically renamed Kum & Go in our area now…), and get fountain drink refills in our Git n’ Go insulated thermal cups. She’d have the Mama Bear sized cup, I’d of course have the Baby Bear sized cup, and we’d fill them full of Dr. Pepper.
We’d often swing by to pick up some lunch at a fastfood chain, then head to a local park where we’d eat, I’d play, and she’d look through the paper.
Often, we’d stop at the public library where I’d leave with an armload of books to take back home — making sure to fill out my summer reading sheet!
As a 34-year-old, today my Wednesday has been filled with moments of Sabbath — that elusive concept I’ve struggled with so much. I won’t be at Youth Group, or work, or the park, or dining at a trendy restaurant, or lugging around Dr. Pepper refills with my mom, but Wednesdays are where it’s at.
It’s where my best memories reside.
It’s a good day.