My friend Erin is a wandmaker. He does other things by which he makes his living, but as a hobby and small business, he makes magic wands. It’s a wonderful little company that sells mostly on the internet — all kinds of wood, all suppositions of mythical beast core properties—and it’s a niche market that gives him enough business. It also means that occasionally, he does conferences and conventions for the nerdily-inclined, like a couple weeks ago at Dallas Comic-Con.
I was at Comic-Con to escort his kids around, spoil them as their favorite adult, and keep them out of the tiny booth space in which Houchin’s House of Wizarding Wares was based. But we still ran into him and his wife Keri out and about on the floor. (If you’ve never been to Comic-Con, please imagine t-shirts, costumes, comic books, action figures, sci-fi stuff, exhibits, booths, all sorts of things, all in a grid pattern.) We also ran into a man dressed as “Princess Batman,” which makes me smile even now, two weeks later — he was wearing the black gloves and cowl of Batman, and this marvelous pink ballgown. He still did the Batman voice.
But I digress. Erin and Keri have been married for 11 years. They don’t really do anniversaries — they’ll go out, but they don’t buy presents or go bigger and bigger each year. This year, Keri told Erin that she had got him something — she couldn’t resist — and she’d spent x amount of dollars and he was welcome to go shop at Comic-Con for her. So he goes off, and he finds an artist they both like, and he commissions a drawing from him for his wife. As it turns out, she had just done the same thing for him. Of all the artists and all the booths and all the possibilities, they knew each other so well that the surprise of similarity was the best surprise there was. The normality of the moment made the moment that much more special, if you will.
This Sunday is Ascension Sunday, and the readings for it speak to one of the most abnormal parts of the Jesus story — his rising into heaven. But we’ll take Luke apart a little bit, and see that normal old Bethany is the perfect spot for God to make something special from the mundane.
I look forward to seeing you Sunday. Shalom y’all,