Notes from the church lady: Gift came at time I needed it

"Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre… Luke 24:1"

It was so dark I could hardly see when I climbed into the pickup early that morning. How I longed for the warmth of my bed and a little more sleep. As we drove east I slowly was able to make out shapes that became clearer as we traveled. These shapes took on an almost eerie monochromatic look void of all color and it was difficult to determine what they were. As the sky brightened, colors replaced the monochrome. The sun suddenly popped over the horizon flooding everything in a bright light. It was so bright and difficult to look into the sun so we took a short break before continuing on.

As we continued our trip, I pondered what I experienced in that short time. With Easter just around the corner I thought about Mary and the other women who went to the tomb that morning to anoint Jesus' body. They were interrupted on that Friday with the approaching Sabbath and now was the first opportunity to properly care for Jesus' body.

Did they want to go out into the dark that morning? They were already troubled because they had no idea how they would roll away the huge stone sealing the tomb? What about the soldiers posted at the tomb? Would they allow the women to finish what they came to do?

I wonder if they talked as they walked to the tomb or if they were so emotionally spent, they merely put one foot in front of the other. They saw Jesus die and nothing would ever be the same again. Did the colors of the early morning bring them any comfort?

Of course we know what happened when they reached the tomb only to find it empty. When they realized Jesus was truly alive, joy filled their hearts and they ran back to tell the disciples what they found. The sky was gloriously bright that morning, not with the sun, but with the SON. The tomb couldn't hold the Son because He is alive forever. The story of Easter never grows old as it is always new, fresh, and full of hope for all who believe in Jesus.

Joy that floods a believer's heart enables them to bless others. On a personal note, I want to thank my "secret friend" who blessed my heart.

A couple of friends dropped off a box and a letter from a friend who wished to remain anonymous and made them promise to keep it a secret. Inside the box was the most beautiful lap quilt in soft muted tones. In the letter she said I should think of the quilt as a "hug."

I read the letter to the friends and we all cried together. In the days since I have re-read that letter a hundred times and each time I cry. The encouragement came at a time I really needed a big hug.

Over and over I wonder what I did to deserve such a gift. Every morning I see it when I wake up and often I sit in my chair with it in my lap as it hugs and comforts me when I am having a rough day. I will never be able to express my gratitude to this friend who blessed me with this precious quilt.

I will treasure this gift and keep it close always. Thank you, whoever you are.

Debra Whittington is a longtime resident of Tucumcari. Contact her at:

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