I write this on Easter Saturday.
The “in-between day” of Easter, except we know the end of the story!
So much of life is “in-between”, don’t you think?
I see it in my work – a lot. The hospital is all about hurry up…. and wait.
And people wait, for tests, for doctors, for results, for surgery, and some of them know they won’t go home again. So they wait, and wonder.
Some of us handle this better than others. Some have a peace in the waiting, others a resigned attitude. Some are too sick to care.
Others spread cheer, and see that there is living… in the waiting. Even when it is not easy. They look for gratitude, and opportunities to share love, or a smile. This sometimes takes great courage. And determination.
Others struggle. And pain and not-knowing and uncertainty are certainly ingredients for discouragement, even depression. There is no guilt in this. It is simply an observation.
Really, so much of life is like this. We hold joy… and sorrow… loosely, because we don’t know what tomorrow will bring. We can plan, we can be prepared, we can practice prevention, we can live well, and in the back of our minds we know… we cannot take it for granted.
Really, the Easter story is all about that. The worst of the worst happened on Friday. The disciples felt lost, bereft, Jesus’ mother Mary bewildered and grief-stricken. They could not fully understand the miracle of resurrection that was about to happen.
I thought about that yesterday, a very small example, as I poured these tiny dead looking seeds into my grandchildren’s eager, little hands. We dropped them in the dirt, and covered them, and they took delight in watering them. It is a miracle really… those little seeds have the potential of life, of giving us nourishment, along with more seeds for the future! We planted those tiny seeds with a lot of hope.
And as we live in the “now”, the in-between of life, we also can live a life of nurture and love and hope, even in the un-knowing. So much of life is wrapped up in mystery.
And the beautiful thing is that we trust in the words of the one who died… and was resurrected… and Who said He would return. He promised us an eternal home, and an eternal life.
It is hard to imagine, in our dark cocoons of dirt, but someday we will see the light. And in the “in-between”, we have the wonderful promise of God with us.
I read a wonderful prayer by Thomas Merton this morning, and I think it fits so well here:
“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.” ― Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude