I told myself that today I would write about missions—continue to flesh out what I wrote about last week. To give you, precious readers, what I promised. Instead, today, in the warmth of the sun and under the expanse of blue skies, I visited the gravesite of an old friend.
I’m not sure how I ended up there, walking amongst stones bearing flowers and names. I went for a drive, too many thoughts floating in my head to stay put. And somehow, with iced coffee and sunglasses, I was sitting against a nearby cemetery tree. Sitting, thinking about the gift of life. Thinking of hers and mine and yours—of all of our lives. Thinking of our breaths and laughs and smiles. And Thinking about the price that’s been paid for me—and the stone that was rolled away.
Yesterday, a friend of mine lost her baby. Yesterday, on Good Friday, during the holiest of weeks.
And I thought about what that must feel like—what must be going through her head and her heart and inside of her body. And I cried—for her mother’s heart. I cried because I could not do anything to fix it. To mend it. To make it all different than it was. There are only so many things a carton of chocolate ice cream can fix.
But I also cried for her grace and trust and praises. For her hope in the giver of life. She declares He is good, even in this.
And the small life that left her womb reminded me of the ripping pain that another mother must have felt—watching her baby boy be ridiculed and whipped and crucified, all the while wondering, “Why?”
Why must you go through this?
Why can they not see?
Why were you given to me, only to be taken away? Why me? Why you?
Why. Why. Why.
And perhaps she did not question. But I would have. I do, every single day.
And that’s what holy week is for—what Good Friday bears. It bears our whys and why nots. Our doubts, our fears, our wondering. It bears the pain and agony and mistakes of our fleshly nature. It bears our emptiness and sorrow.
And in bearing our pain, He gives us new life.
And in being given new life, we are able to mourn and cry and wonder, and celebrate the essence of being human, because our God came down and became flesh.
We are able to feel deeply and love deeply because he paved the way with the deepest and messiest and most relentless kind of loves.
Tomorrow, we will sit and celebrate his death and life, but also ours. Our death to sin, our new life in Him.
We are able to come messy and broken, and with faces covered in snot and tears and with puffy, red eyes—because sometimes that is our Easter best—and say, Praise the one who paid my debt.
Even in the questioning and the wondering and in the “How come,” our praises are still as beautiful—perhaps even more so. Because he heard them as he hung there. He saw them in their faces and he sees and hears them in ours.
He bore it all, so he could bear it with us.
And that’s why Good Friday is really good. And why every day is good. Not only because he bore our sin, but because he bears everything with us each day. Over and over again, as our beating and throbbing hearts continue to pulse and feel and surrender again. And again. And again.