I begin this post on Good Friday: a day on which there was great deep despair, where hope was not present, even for many of the most devout. Surely the name was given to this historical day in hindsight because there wasn’t a whole lot of goodness happening on the actual day. In fact all that is wrong with the world: anger, cruelty, fear, jealousy, hate, inflicted itself upon pure, loving beauty, shunning the very core of Who we come from, what we were made for and how we were made to BE.
We KILLED someone who was here to save us from ourselves. Because that’s what we do.
Now, for those of you who know me, understand that I am really not the preachy sort. Mainly because I probably would have been one of the blind crowd followers shouting “crucify HIM!”. Or at least someone like Pilate who thought “Wow, let the poor dude go!” but then did nothing to show he meant it. I would have gone home in a bad mood, eaten a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to cheer myself up and eventually, after a bit of hypocritical prayer or some rationalizing or maybe some act of random kindness, washed my hands of the guilt and moved on. I’d have not realized that my crap decision to do nothing to alter the course of events and save an innocent “man” would help bring about redemption from that very decision.
Think about THAT one for a few seconds.
Anyhoo. The day turned out to be GOOD because a couple days later death was overcome and we were given the option of hope, the option to believe that all is not lost despite our bad decisions and our lack of love when it is needed the most. We can choose to believe that death isn’t the grand finale but instead a new and different place of existence.
So. I KNOW I talk a lot about death in my blog posts. I suppose it might seem a little gloomy. But see, here’s the thing: death is just too mysterious, too interesting, too much of a constant aching tragedy in our lives, for me to not want to contemplate it from different angles and lenses and explore its possibilities
I joke a ton about my own death: a drama queen who leaps to the page to update her obituary any time I think “this time, I’m surely going to be a goner”. A bad cold, a wisdom tooth extraction, a forgetful day that makes me SURE that my mind will be done in soon and take my body with it, all draw me into making sure I say my props to my people and have the last word in who I thought I was in this life. It makes my family very uncomfortable. They probably won’t believe me when I actually DO die.
Which would be spectacular! I hope I won’t actually be DEAD but instead DYED. Like an Easter egg… only way different. I like the idea that passing away is a transformation that changes a person’s colors to the point that they are not as easily recognizable in their new and better (and more colorful) existence.
Heaven: do we look up or out?
I don’t know about you, but I have had too many glimpses of my people who have passed away to believe the death is the end. I KNOW that while I can no longer touch or see my mother or my friend Libby as I once knew them, they both stayed pretty close for a while before they moved deeper into their new joyful place. Once in a while they still visit.
They are colorful wind chimes singing without wind.
Jesus overcame what we thought to be the end and showed us what death could mean for us: new mysteriously singing colors.
If you close your eyes and let go, you can see the song.