For Those Stuck in Good Friday

Do you remember when Saturdays were always about church planting updates? They will be again, soon, next week even… 

easter People

The year my Dad died Easter came early, March 27, only about a week after his heart attack and the Sunday after his funeral.

Because of this, a church decorated in purple crosses and white lilies doesn’t feel like Easter morning to me, it still loudly echoes the throes of Good Friday.

Every year, no matter when Easter falls in relation to the anniversary of my Father’s death, the songs and smells of Easter are deeply reminiscent of his funeral.

Faith gets real when you’re faced with Easter morning and your heart feels firmly rooted in the worst hours of Good Friday.

Sometimes Easter Sunday doesn’t happen in three days

Because in life, our Good Fridays last longer than a day, longer than the hour of a church service or the time it takes to reflect upon the stations of the cross. There are, in fact, entire seasons, even years of our lives that take place on Holy Saturday.

The day in between the ripping of the cross and the glory of the empty tomb. A day of waiting, of wondering, a seemingly hopeless day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

I remember visiting my fathers grave before the funeral flowers had a chance to wither and shrivel, begging God for some sort of miracle. Bring him back now, fix this now, I want my Easter Sunday healing now, please.

Make this all go away, cause me to awake in my bed back home, awash in relief that this was all a nightmare.

Please God, bring me an Easter miracle today or Surely the depth of this grief will be the thing that defines my life, that undoes me. I cannot live in a world where this is my reality.

But we do, don’t we? We live in a world with awful realities. 

We live seasons, even years stuck between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, where we wake up on Holy Saturday wondering if our hearts can weather another day of waiting and wondering.

Anne Lammott put it perfectly when she said “we are Easter people living in a Good Friday world. And I think that every year the world seems more of a Good Friday world. And it’s excruciating, whether it’s Japan, or Libya, or whether its your own best friends and their children who are sick, which is something that makes no sense when you think about a loving God.”

So for all of us who feel the weight of the Good Fridays, the Holy Saturdays, who will experience Easter Sunday with more than a few bones to pick with God, with a laundry list of “but hows.”

To all of you I just want to say: “Hi and me too.”

I understand and it’s okay to lament more than you rejoice on Easter Sunday.

I understand how suicide, depression, infertility, hate, hunger and abuse can make you feel stuck, make you wonder if Easter Sunday is a real

Wonder where God is in light of this unspeakable pain.

For those of us who are kneeling of the grave of someone or something, skeptical that the pure light of the empty tomb could touch us.

For you I pray light, small, grace-filled light that sustains gently.

I pray God send gracious friends, able to sit with you in your black, Holy Saturday questions.

I pray God a spring breeze to remind your senses that there are miracles all around you, and they will meet you in your anger and all your “how could you Gods?” 

I pray that something about this weekend brings you all the hope you can handle, and no more.

easterhope

It’s not easy to live between the two, to be Easter people in a Good Friday world, don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.

I pray that you may experience Easter Sunday for what it is: A promise of healing that brings hope for our right now, a set it all right someday vow that isn’t always easy to to hold on to, but true and life changing regardless. 

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  • http://www.tanyamarlow.com/ Tanya Marlow

    Brilliantly put, Leanne. This is fab.

  • Rebecka

    Thank you for this!

  • http://heatherdavisnelson.com Heather Nelson

    Kim sent me a link to your post after she read similar thoughts on my blog about Good Friday here: http://heatherdavisnelson.com/2014/04/18/beauty-in-darkness-whats-good-about-good-friday/#comment-1417

    Thank you for telling your story, for putting words to the often silent pain so many endure on the cheery Easter mornings when your heart is breaking. I’m thinking of the song “Blessed be your name/when the world’s all as it should be/when the sun’s shining down on me … AND Blessed be your name/on the road marked with suffering/when there’s pain in the offering …” I’ll never forget singing this hymn at the funeral of a college roommate’s husband – they’d been married for barely over a year when he died of a heart attack inexplicably (in perfect health). Watching her sing this was a picture of true worship. As is your post here.

    • http://www.leannepenny.com Leanne Penny

      I love that song and I think that it so often rings true in life, these words are hard to live, to feel like blessing in the darkness, but there is so much light there.

  • http://monicabentonreflections.blogspot.com/ Monica Benton

    Yes thank you.

  • Gayl Wright

    Leanne, this is well done and a message that is needed for those grieving and for those who are not. Your last paragraph is beautiful.

    • http://www.leannepenny.com Leanne Penny

      Thank you Gayl, so much.