Today was a different kind of Nail Day. It did not end at 4 PM.

During intercession prior to serving, we reviewed the Easter morning accounts, starting with the road to Emmaus from Luke. We moved on to Mary at the tomb, mistaking Jesus for the gardener.  She mustered up all of her fortitude to ask “Where did you take him? Tell me so I can go get him.”

She planned to tend to his body. Not unlike the woman who washed his feet with her tears, she was overwhelmed. “Mary.” “Teacher.” With her, it was personal. Unlike the disciples who had been disappointed because Jesus did not come through for them as the liberator/Messiah, Mary, had lost the lover of her soul.

We shared Mary’s story at Nail Day today with this question: Jesus seeks to reveal himself in your deep places of disappointment. Where can he meet you?

We hosted about 15 women, doing nails, having quiet conversations at the art table, serving lots of coffee and brownies.  We provided dry socks for cold, wet feet, and Band-Aids for sores. We consoled a recent widow, hearing her story. Through gentle listening, an angry, threatening person was soothed. A woman slept on the hard floor of the Ellis Room, relishing the peace and safety,  and left protected from the wet weather in a new-to-her all weather jacket. It was a good day.

After clean-up, de-brief and prayer, three of us were getting ready to leave when we heard a shriek outside. One of our guests from earlier was disoriented, smeared with stuff, face, neck, hands. Her clothes were wet and soiled with something someone had dumped on her. We opened the locked door despite Nail Day being officially over. She was too drunk to safely take a shower, too disoriented to care for herself. We brought her in, got warm towels, washed the defilement off her face and body. Sorting through random donated items, we found a dry, clean shirt, a sports bra that fit perfectly, a lovely off-white parka, and sent her out warm, clean, known, and valued.

Nail Day ends at 4 to the public. Jesus is 24/7, Alpha and Omega. The three of us that stayed late were in awe that he let us in on his plan for this woman, allowing us to play a small role in the restoration he has for her.  Jesus revealed himself in the face of cruelty and brokenness. He did not let disappointment have the final word. For him, it’s personal.