I cannot help but identify with the small band of followers who were left on this earth confused, alone, and wondering why in the world they put their trust in a man for the past 3 years who ended up dying a common criminal. The very first Good Friday must have been one of the most devastating days in the lives of the friends who had done life with Jesus. A man who claimed to be God’s son, who performed miracles and even brought his friend back to life…now hangs on a cross? When they agreed to follow him–they had hoped for much more. They believed something big was going to come from this man’s life…following Him was going to bring about change in the world. They likely believed they had swallowed a big fat lie. I assume that Friday in their grief, they started to make preparations to go back to their fishing jobs; bracing to hear the sarcastic voices of friends and family say, “I told you so.”
Anne Lamott says we are “Easter people living in a Good Friday world.” We are living in a devastating place where I believe it is bleaker every day. I can’t un- read the papers. I can’t forget the phone call I had yesterday with a friend who is experiencing extreme loss. I can’t un-see the things I saw in Africa. I can’t un-hear what I overheard yesterday at a coffee shop…a man sharing with a co-worker that his wife drinks 2 bottles of wine each night and he drinks a bottle of JD and together they still wake up and function the next morning. (It was not an AA meeting it was a business meeting of one co-worker sharing how we wades through his world.) Cause we all stumble around in the haze of this Good Friday world. Some want to believe there is a God over all and that He cares for the intimate details of our lives…and yet we see the hurt and pain and brokenness of our own lives and the lives of others and we wonder? Some doubt as Thomas did. Can you blame him? He endured the darkest Good Friday there ever was. If you doubt…you are in good company. You are living in a Good Friday world…looking around at the aftermath of a gruesome crucifixion wondering: Where is God?
There is no magic wand waved by God in this world. There are no modern day miracles so large that we are somehow shaken from the haze. And yet, I believe disillusionment often precedes transformation. What I see are the smallest movements toward one another. I see God in the care of others needs. In the, “You too? I thought I was the only one,” conversations. In the entering in of the mess. In the meals shared. In the cold water offered on a hot day. It is the small actions toward our neighbors and friends where just for a moment we see glimmers of goodness and an inner Easter. I deep down have the heart of an activist…I want the whole world fed, protected, healed, at peace and saved from its current state of devastation. And though I will live out my days doing my best to contribute and ease the pain of this broken world–I am reminded…I am an Easter girl living in a Good Friday world. Jesus says, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart I have overcome the world.” It is Easter that we long for. And unlike the little band of friends Jesus left on that first Friday blindly grappling to make sense of it all…we have whispers and hope that we will one day be lifted from this haze. Therefore…I grow in gratitude for the ultimate miracle performed on that day–that made us His Easter kids. This Good Friday world is hard…but there is hope…and we celebrate it this Sunday morning.
May You Be a Blessing and May You Be Blessed,