Good Friday. It’s the day of sadness and loss. If your heart is broken, this day may be far more relatable than Sunday.
There are many of you whom I am carrying in my heart, those grieving the loss of a person, a promise, a dream, an idea, a hope. You’re the ones left behind to live the hard life of waiting and wondering. You’re living in the Friday of Sadness, long before the Sunday of Joy.
Where, O death, is thy sting?
Right here, I hear you saying. Pierced through my heart.
I dug up this treasure for you, the hurting ones on Easter weekend. I wrote it years ago, when we were in the middle of our Great Sadness.
~ ~ ~“Guys, let me tell you what I’m thinking about today.”Tyler is coloring the space between the tiles on the table at Chili’s, and Tucker is looking like something straight out of the 1930s in his Easter hat. He looks like a newsie.
We have just finished an evening at church; we opted to go on Saturday so our parking spot might be free tomorrow for someone who might come for the first time. This has led to many conversations of clarity, since we went to church on Good Friday, again on Holy Saturday, even though Easter is on Sunday.
Just put on your hats and join me, Newsies.
“I have been thinking about Easter. Please tell me why we celebrate it.” Please tell me an accurate answer.
Earlier this week, they were caught up in Easter eggs and bunnies, and I swallowed a gulp of maternal shame since their priorities were clearly off target. So we’ve been rehearsing a bit each day. Please learn these answers, even if they’re only words to you right now.
They recite the answer, thankfully in their own words. “Easter is the day that Jesus rose from the dead after he died on the cross. Nobody else has risen from the dead, so this is the way we can know Jesus is the real thing.”
“You got it.”
There’s a fine line between pride and responsibility. It’s my responsibility to teach them well; I am proud of them when they know the answers.
“Here’s what I was thinking about that, guys. If Jesus hadn’t risen from the dead, then their would be no way for us to get to heaven. That’s where Daddy is. And that’s where we will go when this life is over, because we believe Jesus is the real thing. Everybody gets to go if they believe him. So, we will get to see Daddy again.”
“Because Daddy is going to come alive again?”
“No, sugar. He’s gone for good. Jesus is the only one who came back. But since Jesus came back, he showed us there’s more after this. When people die, they don’t just stop. This isn’t all there is.”
“Mommy, if there wasn’t heaven, people would have to sleep for a long, long time.” True. And I’ll choose right now not to go into any theories on existentialism or purgatory. Which is wise also because I don’t know very much about either one. “And that would just be so boring. Laying around waiting to be buried.”
We all agree: dying just for the sake of death would be boring and pointless. As a collective three, we’re not up for that.
“Guys, because of Easter, we get to see Daddy again. Because this isn’t all there is.”
“I want to go now, Mommy.”
“I know, lovey. But we’ll live as many days as God gives us, just like Daddy did. And then, when we’re done, it will only get better.”
This is the most tangible understanding of the resurrection that I’ve ever claimed.
We celebrate with our family, with our community, with believers all over the world, and with Daddy and his million friends in heaven.
We celebrate because this isn’t all there is.