I noticed on Saturday that it was the anniversary, liturgical yearly speaking, of our last Cajun Dinner. It was traditional for us to hold it on the Saturday before Ash Wednesday. That’s if “traditional” can be something we’ve been doing for under twenty years. Not everyone would say that, but I would.
When I mentioned it at church, people had mixed reactions. Some of my co-congregants disputed my memory; thought we hadn’t had one in 2020. I said, no, we did, right before COVID. I remembered, plus, I had documentation. Some were mildly surprised. Some said they hadn’t given it a second thought. By implication: they didn’t miss it, either, which admittedly made me a little sad.
The unspoken consensus: We are probably done ever having a Cajun Dinner again. There are even fewer of us. More important, some of the key individuals who made it happen have moved on. We ourselves have moved on. The weekly community meal we’re providing with the collaboration of several other congregations in the county does at least as much actual good for hungry people as the Cajun Dinner did, and likely more.
The thing about “last good days” is that we don’t know it’s the last good day. That’s a truism, one I’ve had occasion to notice before, but truisms become truisms because … well, because they’re true. There are enough last good days in life, and enough lessons in noticing that we can only recognize them for what they are retroactively, that we could learn that truth.
Even if we haven’t had the experience ourselves, yet, we have plenty of stories about it. The Last Supper, for instance.
We have enough experience with last good days that we could go through life knowing this truth … proleptically. We could go through life realizing that who we’re with, where we are, what we’re doing together, this, this day, this moment, might turn out to be one of those precious last good ones.
And celebrate it accordingly.