Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter

Good Friday wasn't so good for me.

I got news I didn't want, and heard words I didn't want to hear. It wasn't a Good Friday.

I felt bad that I was so distracted by everything. I didn't really take any time to pray or meditate on the day and its significance. I shut down and wallowed in my frustration and dashed hopes for good news. Things didn't work out the way I had thought they would...the way I had wanted. The confidence and relief I had felt were scattered in a few moments.

As I lay in the dark tonight, trying to sleep and feeling awful that Easter was upon me and I had completely relegated it to nothing in the midst of my current trials, a gentle nudge from God came to me. I had lived my own Good Friday out this year. There was no need to fast, or attend a service; the meaning was upon me.

It was not Jesus' death I pondered, or even my own exactly. I am in no imminent danger from the cancer that has been removed. Yet, the threat of death hangs over us all. At any moment it can claim us for its own. Occasionally, it makes a cameo appearance in our lives, reminding us that it does, indeed, still exist and will come to visit on a more permanent basis in the future.

The uncertainty before a diagnosis causes the mind to wander to futures that may or may not come to pass. What if I only had 1 year, 5, years, 10 years...maybe 40 more...what then?

I think of Jesus who knew exactly how many years he had, how many moments to impress upon his followers the urgency of his message, how many meals he would eat with them, and which one would be his last. That's living; living in the face of death while it bides its time tick-tocking its way to us.

Jesus' disciples were disappointed on Friday and Saturday. Their faith was crumbling under the weight of the forward movement of time. Sunset...sunrise...sunset, and still Jesus lays in the tomb--motionless, stiff, and decaying.

Sunrise is coming again. Let it not catch me unaware. Let me rise up to greet it and the one who has overcome death's stalking pace.

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