In my book, Webster earns a C- he defines surreal as having the disorienting, hallucinatory quality of a dream; unreal; fantastic. But then again, I didn’t have my first glimpse of understanding of that word at all until 2008 when my oldest son graduated from high school. Disorienting is an effect of surreal, not a definition of it. I would never describe that moment as fantastic.
This morning I experienced a new even larger surreal moment when sitting at Church with my 30 year old niece. Why? It was her first time at Church since she experienced a medical crisis which left her blind in both eyes. Our worshiping at Church was not fantastic either. It was surreal to watch her worship the Lord and laugh at the sermon knowing all she has lost in the last two weeks, a mere fourteen days. Who was helping who here?
Reminder: God gives grace to those going through trials, not to those watching another go through trials.
I was very thankful during the congregational singing that she couldn’t see me sob as she raised her hand to worship the Lord and invite Him into her life. It was healing to hear her laugh at Pastor Blake’s silly juvenile jokes which perfectly demonstrated God’s creativity at creation. I was so thankful for his light-hearted presentation of God’s goodness. It was as if he knew she was in the audience and the gentle touch she needed when hearing a message about God’s gifts to us.
Another surreal memory came when I remembered seeing my birth father after not speaking to him for 32 years. And then another when I attended his funeral last November.
I even found it surreal when my youngest son married three years ago. I felt the same feeling during the weeks following the unexpected and sudden death of my beloved adopted father. Okay, Webster got part of it right, it was disorienting.