Friday, March 25, 2016

What's so good about Good Friday?

This morning, my husband said, "I've never known why we call today 'Good Friday.' What's so good about it?

I tried to give an answer that made sense - we call it "good" only because we can look back at it from this perspective. Jesus was crucified and a few days later, he rose from the dead. He overcame death, the thing that frightens most of us most of all. It's good because Christ showed us power over even the worst suffering and death itself.

And I believe every word of that is true.
But still...
But still...

Death sucks.
Execution sucks.
Suffering sucks.
Waiting sucks.

I am a mother who has seen her children suffer.
I am a mother who sees her child suffering. In pain. Afraid.
I have wept and still weep with and for my children.

But I have never seen a child of mine arrested, tried, tortured, and sentenced to death.
I have not seen a child of mine be executed.
I have not seen a child of mine buried.
Mary, the mother of our Lord, saw all of that.
There was nothing good about that day for her -
perhaps except for the fact that her son didn't live too long on the cross.
His suffering ended relatively quickly that fateful, faithful day.

Today I spoke to a woman whose son is suffering.
She knows that I have traveled down the same road a little longer than she has.
But I didn't have any answers for her. I don't have any solutions for her.
I looked at her and listened to her, answered her questions as best I could,
and then we wished each other the best as we went back to loving our hurting children.
Tears filled our eyes. Horror filled our hearts. Along with love. So much love.

What was so good about Good Friday today, about the time I spent with that beautiful, heartbroken, terrified, hopeful mother?
I got to talk to her and walk with her and share a few moments with her.
I sat and talked with a dear, dear friend for an hour or so, sharing stories about the places in our hearts and minds that hurt the most these days.
I talked to another friend on the phone and she reminded me of the importance of enjoying the chocolate chip cookies and a glass of wine and the company of my husband and son, even in the midst of another dark chapter of our life as a family.

But still...
But still..

It's gonna be a while before I can truly understand what has been good about today,
what's good about this situation,
what's good about this prolonged sojourn through the valley of so many shadows.
It's gonna be a while before I understand how any of this is working together for good.
Before I understand how any of this is tied to hope and a future.
A good long while.

I do believe, Lord,
Please help my unbelief.
Help me to trust that all shall be well again. Someday.
Help me see beyond this sadness and sorrow.

It is Friday. Sunday is coming.
In the meantime, darkness descends.
In the meantime, hope wanes.
In the meantime, tears flow.
In the meantime, sorrow runs deep.
In the meantime, we watch and wait.
In the meantime, we pray for resurrection.

Deep sighs.
Deep groans.
Deep sorrow.

No comments: