Today’s post originally appeared on State of Hospitality yesterday – but I think it’s still rather relevant to today. This also links to Convergent Books’ Synchroblog, which you can join in through the 25th. Happy Easter, friendlies!
I used to have a love-hate relationship with the weeks leading up to Easter. As a child, we didn’t participate in Lent; I’d see various friends arriving at school with a leftover smudge on their foreheads, and I’d wonder why they’d forgotten to wash their face this Thursday morning.
I’d say mmm-hmm when a Catholic buddy of mine lamented at having to give up ice cream or chocolate, meat or – true story – quesadillas in the forty days prior to Christ’s resurrection.
But for me, in the little Baptist church we found ourselves entrenched in, the Easter season seemed to arrive without fanfare. As children, we found ourselves seemingly shoved with palm branches on Sunday morning, made to make our way down the long aisle, waving and fanning and smiling our fronds to the adults sitting in the pews to the left and right. And then, just as it always seemed to do, the dreariness of the week ahead began to set in. I knew I’d have to hear the brutal story of One Man’s death on the cross, the nails driven into his hands, the way he cried out, without answer, to his dad.
It made me yearn for the arrival of Sunday morning.
I wanted to stop living in Friday. I wanted the hurt and pain and loneliness of that dreaded waiting period to return to triumphant hymns, to again hear the shouts of He has risen – He has risen indeed! I wanted the afternoon feast of ham and mashed potatoes and lemon meringue pie, just as I wanted the pretty new dress from J.C. Penney. I didn’t want to sit in the ugliness – I begged Beauty to return.
But now I kind of like it.
I love Jerusalem Jackson Greer’s words in A Homemade Year: The Blessings of Cooking, Crafting and Coming Together,as she chronicles the Easter season, and Holy Saturday in particular: “…I do my best to live in that place, that wax-crayon place of trust and waiting. Of accepting what I cannot know. Of mourning what needs to be mourned. Of accepting what needs to be accepted. Of hoping for what seems impossible.” Because when I actually sit in the waiting, in the mourning, in the accepting and in the hoping, then it makes Sunday morning all the more resurrected.
I then feel the joy that much more. I lean into the hope and I embrace the celebration and I believe in his peace, all over again, as if for the first time. So this week, as you prepare for Sunday, might you also sit in the waiting pain of Friday.
What about you? Are you like, Give me Good Friday or give me death (…wait a minute…), or are you a Resurrection Kid, all the way? Or does all of this Easter-talk just make you want to mouth-puke a little?