The girls and I went to church this morning, for the sunrise service at Linn Grove Presbyterian Church, a tiny 150 year old church a few miles up the road from us. Linn Grove is the sister parish of our old church in Springville, which we loved so much that we never transferred to a Mount Vernon parish, but could not get our act together on Sundays to continue attending as we should have. The two churches share a pastor, Karen Downey-Beals, who spent one memorable Christmas with us, when I thought we should all take turns reading "A Christmas Carol" by Dickens. It was the worst holiday idea I ever had, but was saved by us giving up on the book, and playing a shared story game instead. Sarah had just learned to write the word "poop", so it was the only word she wrote in the pages passed to her. Once, Karen also wrote "poop", in solidarity with Sarah. Beautiful.
We wore, as people do, our favorite and most appropriate Easter clothes. I chose a pink dress, white sweater and heels. Very conservative. Cathy wore a dress, black tights and a shiny blue lip ring. Less conservative. And Sarah wore a dress she made last year with Grandma Hartelt, over skinny jeans, her winter boots, and the hair she dyed green two days ago. Much less conservative. Kind of edgy, actually, but she looked pretty and had no holes in her clothes, so off we went. Driving there, I thought about how Sarah has started questioning her faith and where in the world there is a place for her. She thinks of church, with its mostly conservatively attired and mannerly congregation, as being no place for her. Imagine all of our surprise to arrive at church and find that Pastor Karen had dyed her hair purple, in solidarity with all those kids in the world who want to stand out and be different. There was another girl there, with purple hair cut short (the night before, we learned). And Sarah. Pastor Karen didn't know Sarah's hair was green, didn't even know we would make it. And, yet, there she was, in all her glory, absolutely beautiful in purple hair.
(The other little miracle of today was when I remembered our other association with Linn Grove. Cathy did a project on it historic place in our community, complete with video tour. A week later, the church was robbed, and many of its heirloom possessions gone forever. The church caretakers had no proof even of the existence of the silver and the safe, and so on, except for Cathy's video. Insurance ponied up, and the little church got back, not its treasures, but compensation to buy new ones.)
Sometimes, the miracle is in the timing. And for a miracle in the form of hair dye to occur on this, most holiest of days, made me smile all day. If I could have, I would have totally high fived God. And if He works in mysterious ways, like hair dye, He might've high fived me back.