Sunday Runday

This morning, all of Chicago paused for the determination of 45,000 disciplined runners. Thousands of people trotted along in the rain, and I spectated from our apartment, warm and comfortable and eating breakfast. A perk of watched the marathon from bird’s eye view is observing the cheerers (I may have sat at the window with binoculars in hand all morning. Nah, not weird at all).

I learned that there are actually quite a few categories of marathon-watchers:

The Hard-cores: For the past 7 years of living in Chicago, I’ve always had two signs it’s marathon Sunday. First, there’s no traffic noise starting at around 5:00 a.m. Second, at 7:00 a.m. (the race starts at 7:30, two or three miles away from us), there are a few dozen people scattered over a thousand yards all talking, clapping, and ringing bells. You know, practicing for when the runners arrive 45 minutes later.

The Emotionals: An elderly couple peered into the hundreds, wearing shirts that read, “roBquick” (“Rob be quick”, for those of you who, like me, might fixate on lack of consistency rather than the meaning). After fifteen fruitless minutes, a young-ish (it’s hard to tell exact ages from eight stories up) guy ran up to them. The woman reached out to pat his arm as the white-haired man gave him a high five. When Rob ran off, the woman leaned into the man and started crying.

The Political Statement-ers: I’m no expert on spreading political opinions, but I guess an audience of 45,000 sweaty people is a good place to start. Two particularly dedicated individuals had pressing messages: THE MOON LANDING WAS FAKE and YOU’RE RUNNING BETTER THAN THE GOVERNMENT.

The General Encouragers: Many wonderful people stand on one street corner out of 26.2 miles and cheer for an hour. They don’t know every person who passes, but they’re showing support for the struggling masses of humanity grinding out 26.1 miles more than anyone ever really wants to run.

The I’m-ONLY-here-for-my-friend-s: Exact opposites of The Encouragers, these folks stand with hands shoved in their pockets until they see their special someone. After cheering like crazy for roughly 45 seconds, they push fists back into coats and set off for the next marathon-watching stop.

The Police Man: Twenty-six miles equals a) a lot of street closures, and b) a police officer at many of them to make sure all the half-asleep drivers notice the barricades. The police man at our particular corner stood for four hours, three of them drizzle and mist, one of them pouring rain, and didn’t look completely miserable. Although he also only really smiled at the people with dogs (it’s a sign, people would like me more if I had a dog).

The Extravagants: One couple had a stroller, maybe a dog (another sign), and two gigantic (probably 5 feet tall) shiny blue helium balloons—one was an ‘M’ and the other a ‘G’, presumably a runner’s initials? Or maybe they just picked them up from Party City for a birthday party in the afternoon.

The Husbands and Wives: It takes serious grit to run a marathon—but not all the participants are serious-grit, 25-marathons-later runners. There are a lot of normal people too, such as the regular-looking guy holding signs drawn on free papers from Bank of America. The one he held up said, Go Babe, Goooooo! When (presumably) his wife ran past, she stopped and gave him a huge hug and kiss, and stood with him for a moment. She ran off and he accidentally dropped his signs on the ground. He picked them up and stuffed them in his backpack, proud and happy.

Featured: The Emotionals and The Police Man and maybe a few others

Featured: The Emotionals and The Police Man and maybe a few others

Sunday Menu

Graham crackers and milk
Peanut butter and jelly
Sweet potato chips
Multi-colored bell peppers
Chili with cornbread crackers
Apple crisp

God gave us a day of rest out of pure goodness and compassion. He knew we’d try to push ourselves too hard and it wouldn’t be good for us, so He instituted taking breaks.

But He made food delicious as a special treat—just because He loves us.

Sunday Rest

Sleeping extra.
Finding praise in the little things.
Looking at photos of falling in love.
Leftover tacos.
Fall bike rides.
Camels and hippos and sea lions.
New shoes.
Popcorn for dinner.

Maybe a month of resting Sundays isn’t a bad thing. God knew what He was doing.

So on the seventh day He rested from all His work.

Sunday, Love

Wrapping dozens of Christmas presents.
Taking a nap.
Walking around the prettiest Christmas-flavored city.
Eating cheeseburgers and french fries.
Listening to Christmas music.
Looking at our tree.

Today is the fourth Sunday in Advent and we lit the candle of love. This love is beyond what we can imagine: God becomes human. It changed everything for us.

For He will save His people from their sins.

Sunday Joy

Christmas carols all morning long.
Eating leftover pizza and chips.
Shopping for vegetables and cheese.
Organizing and cleaning.
Resting and relaxing.
Wearing matching socks.

Today is the third Sunday in Advent, and we lit the candle of joy this morning. In this season, we're remembering good news (the best news, really) of great joy, that shall be to all people:

A Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

Lyrical Sunday

Breakfast cereal instead of the other stuff.
Sunshine and delight and laughter.
Catching up on the little things.
Sweet potatoes.
Christmas carols.
Ice cream sunda(y)es.
Exuberant affection.
The yearly white elephant Christmas party.
A slow end to the day, and a red plaid blanket.

Lyrical: having a light and melodic style. Just like Sunday.

Sunday Marvels

Some Sundays are for unorthodox behavior:

Driving six hours.
Holding a perfect baby.
Eating curly fries (I promise you, there are few culinarily delicacies on this planet that rival fresh curly fries).
Listening to adventures.
Spending time with friends.
Being in love.
Reading out loud.
Watching the sun set (who says this has to be just one word?).
Planning for Christmas presents.
Giving gifts.
Sharing a chocolate milkshake.

Every week, Sunday is full of marvels. And how could it not be? It's the Lord's day.

Sunday Best

Spending a few extra minutes in front of the mirror and closet.
Taking the morning slow.
Singing on-key (although I don't think people intentionally sing off-key).
Making an extra fine—or extra easy—lunch.
Napping under the softest blanket money can buy.
Making a finger paint turkey, because Thursday is Thanksgiving.
Eating sugar.
Hearing The Word from my favorite—and yes, I do have a personal bias.
Reading out loud together.
Cleaning the house up around the edges to start the week out fresh.
Thanking Him for all the good, because there's so much of it.

Sunday best is more than just finery—perhaps we've been writing it wrong all this time.

Sunday, best.

Delighted by Sunday

This Sunday is for:

Chili and cornbread
Nutmeg scented candles
Cracking the window to let in the fall air
Watching the sun play on the buildings
Writing writing writing
^ Diligence
Eating ice cream till we have to change into sweat pants
Being in love
Fall delight

Again and again and again we're delighted by Sunday.