Today is Good Friday, the day we commemorate Jesus’s trial, crucifixion, and burial 2000 years ago. Amazing, really, that such a long-ago event remains so central in our lives. Good Friday was not good, but with the belief in Christian doctrine, a necessary one. The “good” of Good Friday is incongruous unless viewed in what it heralds…on Sunday He rose.
You know I see “signs” everywhere. I relate to words of poet Mary Oliver, who wrote And mostly I’m grateful that I take this world so seriously.
I can’t help it. There has to be meaning in everything.
In New Hampshire the snow lingers to the point of exasperation. It’s mid-April and last week I was driving through a snow storm! But a day later I spotted it – the bright red of the rhubarb poking through the brown dead earth.
I was reminded of how I received this rhubarb. It was a surprise gift. Thank you, Tamar. She was sad. She was thinking of Heather. She felt a wreck. To top it off, she had killed her beloved rhubarb plant. Actually, she only thought she had. Hark! One day, growing out of her own dead brown earth was a baby shoot of scarlet red.
“Suddenly,” she said, “it was as if I heard Heather’s commanding voice behind me – ‘SEE! LIFE GOES ON!'”
Tamar dug up a piece of the rhubarb root, got in her car, and drove to my house. She gave me the tiny plant and said I was not capable of killing it. Indeed, I neglect it and still it grows. It has become a yearly reminder: after the winter, spring always come. Life goes on.
Easter Sunday is Cassie’s birthday. She would have been 38. In June it will be three years since we very unexpectedly lost her. I tried to reread the post I wrote and found I could not. I also hesitate on my word choice – “lost.”
Yes, “Good Friday” was a tragic day and yet it made possible to have “Good News” – that Jesus Christ would rise again. Because of this, we too, will rise again. It is both incredibly implausible and absolutely believable.
I find it significant, or perhaps only comforting, that this Easter weekend is Cassie’s birthday – and not the anniversary of her death.
She is gone from this earth, but she is not lost to us. She is there. Here.
Happy Easter, friends. What GOOD NEWS we’ve been given.
“Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness.
It took me years to understand
that this, too, was a gift.”
― Mary Oliver, Thirst