For about a month, my heart has been sensitive to a deep loss. I first (of course) thought it was in reference to experiencing another round of grief over not having my dad around. There is great truth that loss deepens as years pass and there are more memories without him then with him.
However, there was a peculiarity with what I was sensing than just normal grief. It wouldn’t go away, in fact it grew in persistence. Each time I would turn on the TV or visit a website there seemed to be a story of tragedy and loss. Was there really more tragedy and loss than before or could it be that my heart was more tender to it?
Tonight I rested in this question to determine if there could be a bigger picture God was wanting me to see. And very quietly He whispered, Tomorrow’s Good Friday. Now normally I don’t celebrate Lent and this year is no different, yet could it be that God had me experiencing a different type of Lent this year. A journey that allowed me to eat meat and chocolate whenever I wanted, but instead of mentally/physically giving something up for sacrifice, he wanted to prepare my heart for how Mary and the Disciples truly felt watching their beloved son/brother/friend be abused, embarrassed, betrayed, and ultimately murdered?
I’ve heard the story and participated in so many Easter events that I’ve become numb to the realness of its effect. The routine of more services, dressing up, and a nice meal has clouded my heart from truly reaching a depth that could FEEL the experience of Easter. There is tremendous sadness in grief whether it be losing a loved one, a spouse leaving, friends betraying, or sitting with someone as they experience hurt. The ability to see the HOPE in those things and more importantly seeing HOPE in everyday is a challenge for the best of us.
Maybe Easter should be viewed as more than just the HOPE that Christ symbolizes but also to serve as a wake-up call? Could God be calling out to us to not miss the moments in life that count? Life is fragile and shorter than we realize. In the three days between Christ’s death and resurrection I wonder how many times Mary and the Disciples recalled all the stories Christ told which they wished they would have taken notes. Or the jokes he told that made their belly hurt from laughing or the time he was silent and just sat with them. Time is short and while we live our 24/7 paced lives what are we missing that God has for us. There are urgent and important things all around us and most of the “To Dos” on our lists when you get down to it are NEITHER urgent or important in the grand scheme of things.
Could God use me today? Where might He want to bless me? Where does He need me to sit and be silent with him? Who do I need to forgive to heal a relationship? Who do I need to reach out and say, Hey, I’m thinking of you? We have HOPE! We Have Time right now to DO SOMETHING!!! This could be the Easter where a life is changed and hope is restored. Maybe it’s you who needs to be restored or maybe it’s me who needs to do the restoring. But let us not wait until its too late!!!
May you be surprised this Good Friday and Easter!!