I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung over at our Five Minute Friday website. Today’s word prompt is “next.” We would love to have you join us.
Grief holds my hand
As I stand at the foot
Of the cross.
A crown of thorns
Upon his head
Into his hands and side
Blood poured out
Blood that is his
And not ours.
Shouts of crucify him
His body lifeless
This day is what it’s all about. We cannot have Easter without the pain and reality of Good Friday. Jesus must die before he can be raised. I often find myself imagining I’m standing at the foot of the cross waiting for Jesus to take himself down. Yet he doesn’t. Tears and grief are holding my hand as I wonder and wait for what’s next.
The land is barren and dry as we began our Lenten journey. As we stand on the barren road, a cross placed on our foreheads we hear, “From dust you came; to dust you shall return.” On that dry barren Lenten weary road, I sometimes find myself wanting to just sit down and rest; to wait until someone comes along so we can walk together along this weary road. This road seems so very long with no end in sight.
Yet eventually we come to the end of the road where Jesus is now riding on a donkey. Cloaks being laid out on the road and palm branches waving in the air; heralding his arrival. Jesus triumphantly entering and his followers escorting him into town. Yet there still not quit there. They are standing outside the gates to Jerusalem. On this road, I too find myself wanting to not take another step. What will I see or what will happen if I continue along this Lenten weary road.
There is so much that happens in this most holiest of weeks: the washing of the disciples’ feet, the gathering at the table, Jesus’ crucifixion and death and then the empty tomb. The truth is we cannot have Easter without experiencing the reality and pain of the rest of Holy Week. Easter cannot come without traveling through each of these holy days as we experience and witness the cost of God’s love as Jesus dies on the cross for all of us.
As we walk along this weary road, I know that more than ever I am in need of the Easter promises. I need to be reminded again and again that life not death has the final word. “Easter says you can put death in the grave, but it won’t stay there (Clarence W Hall)
Easter blossoms from the empty barren Lenten road to a road scattered with new life. Butterflies flutter around the empty tomb. Tulips sprout forth on that cracked barren Lenten weary road. Paraphrased from Psalm 30:5, “Death comes for the night, but joy; Easter joy comes with the morning.”
But before we can get there, me must first wallow in this week. We must experience all it has to offer. We must sit at the Holy table knowing we will be welcomed even if we deny or betray Christ like Peter and Judaea did the night before his death. We must let our feet be washed by the master. We must stand at the foot of the cross watching as Jesus breathes his last; hearing him utter, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing.” We must stand vigil and lay his body to rest in the tomb.
But then on Easter morning, we must proclaim that death has been defeated. The grave is empty. The road is no longer cracked and barren but is busting forth with new life. We must triumphantly declare, “Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Alleluia!”
Linking up with Holly and the Ra Ra linkup, Mary and Tell His Story, Sue and Let’s Have Coffee!
I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung over at our Five Minute Friday website. Today’s word prompt is “measure.” We would love to have you join us.
“How do you measure, measure a year, in daylight, in sunsets, in midnights and cups of coffee?” The opening scene to my favorite musical/movie Rent begins and ends with this song. I love Rent for the story it tells about love. Yes there are some hard scenes to watch but for me, this musical reminds me to look at what’s important.
How often do we truly look at what brings us joy? Too often we get caught up in our impatience. Yet when we take the time to simply wait, we begin to see the joy and beauty of our lives and the world around us. As Spring comes upon us, we start to see flowers growing.
Musicals bring me joy too. I love them all. And my first Broadway experience in NYC last summer was Wicked and it was phenomenal. There is a preciseness that the actors and actresses need to have too. The musical notes need to be at the right pitch and in the right place.
Say Yes to the Dress, Four Weddings, any of the television weddings….they all pull me in. And last night was no exception. I found myself watching the latest Duggar wedding on TLC. Before I knew it, tears were rolling down my cheeks as I watched this fairy tale unfold before my eyes. Both the bride and groom shared how they thought that they were never going to get married. Yet God led them to each other.
As I listened to the words coming from their mouths, my heart sank. I am the opposite. I have always thought that I would get married. Yet here I am at 40 1/2 years old and there are no prospects in sight. More and more the hope of this dream is being diminished for me. What if those words come true for me, what if I never become a wife and/or mom?
I constantly turn to the Scripture that reminds me that God hears the desires of my heart. Yet that desire is still unanswered. I find myself crying out again and again “How long, oh Lord, how long, will you forget me forever?” I want to trust that God will answer this in God’s timing and not mine, but most days that is harder to trust in than I care to admit because I am still chasing “the untils” that God placed on my heart since I was a little girl. Until I get married, until I am a mom, Until I……
Why would God place this desire on my heart if this wasn’t supposed to happen for me? I remember a conversation a friend and I had many years ago. She shared that she didn’t think God would place that desire on your heart if God wasn’t going to make it happen for you.
There have been times that I have seen glimpses. Wondering why God brought someone into my life; only to find out that it was simply meant to be just a friendship. I treasure those friendships deeply. But I want so much more. I want that special person; my best friend who I can share everything with, who will wipe away my tears when I am sad and rejoice with me when I am happy. Someone who I can grow old with as we grow in our relationship together.
Singleness is not for the faint of heart. There are so many wondering why I am still single. It is hard to answer that question when I am not sure myself. Yet I believe with all my heart that God is here. God does hear the desires of my heart.
So I will do my best to trust. However, I know that I will still find myself crying out, “How long, oh Lord, how long? Will you forget me forever? How long, oh Lord?” It’s the eternal cry of my heart!