DALLAS -- Palm Sunday is a day of celebration for Christians, remembering the triumphant arrival of Jesus to Jerusalem. This one didn't start as a celebration at Cathedral of Hope, though.
"We saw that there was some mildew," Rev. Dr. Neil Cazares-Thomas said about when they opened their boxes of palm crosses Sunday morning. "We know that there's actually been a shortage of palms this year because of some disease in the palms."
In a place where everything can become clean again, apparently, so too can a moldy palm cross.
"We ran them through the washing machine and the dryer, and they're perfect!" Cazares-Thomas said.
These particular palm crosses deserved a bit of a miracle.
"There's a hospice across the border that works specifically with folks with HIV and AIDS," he said.
It's a cause that's near and dear to this church family, where more than 3,000 members died from the AIDS pandemic. The patients at Tijuana's Albergue Hospice hand fold the palm crosses, and Cathedral of Hope is returning the favor by working to get them solar panels.
The deal offers a modern message to a 2,000-year-old story.
"It's a constant reminder that our lives should be an act of compassion," Cazares-Thomas said.
Oh, were you wondering what the backup plan was for those polluted palms?
"We invited those who did not have a palm cross to draw a cross on their palm," Cazares-Thomas told his congregation to a chorus of laughs.
It's a good reminder that our power doesn't come from the palm in our hand but from the palm of our hand.