I am a road weary traveler.
Throughout these days of Lent, this particular road of Lent seems so very long. I feel like I am traveling along, but have made no progress. I am stuck between the limbo of life and death. My favorite high school teacher lost her battle with cancer in November. In addition, since October, two seminary classmates/friends have died. I still feel like we are standing on the road bearing the reality of death in the midst of the chaos and brokenness of our broken world.
Not that long ago, the ashen cross was marked on our foreheads with the words “Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” This Lent, it feels like that cross is still wet upon my forehead. Yet it was over three weeks ago when those words were said and the cross marked on my forehead. This week, the reality of death set before our very eyes once again. A beloved pastor and servant of Christ taken way too soon.
On this weary road of Lent, I have found myself saying frequently “This sucks!” Words that embody the reality of the theology of the cross. The theology of the cross calls a thing what it is. Death is all around us, but sometimes death occurs way too often. I am weary from the grief so many of us are carrying. I am trying to stay strong in the midst of yet another loss. Yet my heart hurts still and I just want to collapse on this Lenten weary road.
So often, in this world, we want to skip over Good Friday straight to the cross. We would much rather stay up on the mountain on Transfiguration Sunday. But we must come down. So this Lent, I will come to the cross. But then I will be more than ready to come to the tomb on Easter Sunday to find it empty; to know that death never ever has the final word! For only God has the power to overcome death and the grave. “Easter says you can put death in the grave, but it won’t stay there.” (Clarence W. Hall)
This Lenten weary traveler is ready to see and hear the Easter promises triumphantly declared. “Alleluia. Christ is risen. He is risen indeed! Alleluia!” And I know that this Lent especially I am not on this road alone. There are many others who are standing on this weary Lenten road waiting for the Easter promises to be revealed. We are deeply yearning and looking to see Jesus standing there next to us.
On Tuesday, as we stood around our dear dear friend’s lego urn, approximately 70 plus of us linked with Ben, Mara and Elizabeth; interwoven as an incredibly tangible sign of the body of Christ; I couldn’t help but begin to see that perhaps the Lenten weary road we are standing on isn’t so long after all. For around that urn, a tangible symbol of God’s love and the love of our friend was embodied in that time and place. A reminder once again that God’s love ultimately wins.
And so I will continue to meander and trudge my way down this Lenten weary road ready to come to the cross on Easter and proclaim with all the saints that Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Alleluia! However, this Lent, I may be more weary and worn from the journey to that empty tomb!
I am linking up with Kelly and the Ra Ra Linkup, Jennifer and Tell His Story, Holley and Coffee for your Heart, and Kristin and Porch Stories!