Jewish friends are remembering the Passover (the traditional remembrance of when the plague passed over the Hebrew people in the midst of their slavery in Egypt), and Christian friends are also feeling its weight and power as we now join in waiting in the dark of “Good Friday” (the remembrance of the day Jesus was crucified). Maybe you’re not religious at all, but in the midst of this global crisis: you’re still waiting. We are all waiting for this plague to pass, worrying about whether these locusts will land, observing with pain how much they have already consumed. And thus my thoughts were born, this morning.
The whole “Good” Friday thing – how something terrible can also be right – makes me think about the dual nature of just about everything. Like awful fires and the rejuvenation that occurs because of the burning. Like our planet’s atmosphere breathing better because we are all in hiding from this modern plague. These are hard things to grasp; humans like distinctions. We like causality. Randomness – of events, of death – terrifies us, and fear is not a good motivator. All those gyrations in our public discourse are that wrestling, writ large.
So that’s one thought. The other is related, and, I recognize, is largely how I have learned to survive this dark waiting of my own life – which is to try to lean on what’s true, good and ongoing in spite of circumstances that may otherwise lead me to be fearful or angry. If you’ve read this blog at all, you know that God, Jesus and I have never had less than a complicated relationship. So while I have slowly and painfully picked up the pieces of my faith and examined each one over the last many years (and wrestled a lot with fear and deep, deep anger in the wake of Mark’s death), and studied and read countless books about faith, death and hope, I’ve needed to also return to a more instinctual grounding, to remember where I have embraced Presence without effort.
This innate knowing caused me to stagger out of my house every day for walks around the lake even in deep grief, and drew me to Sanibel 6 months after Mark’s death. Blue skies always felt like connection, as do sun and warmth – being quiet in creation helps me see again that death and resurrection are everywhere, woven into our world and its seasons, even the very fabric of the universe as stars die and their matter reborn in others. I see the Artist behind the golden ratio, the spirals that describe galaxies and DNA, shells and flowers. I am comforted by the good news of the law of conservation of mass…that, basically, matter is never lost (God never loses a single one of us). I look at friends and family whose knee-jerk reaction is to give, to share, and I see Jesus…I am humbled and inspired by their selfless love. As you have read here, I’ve experienced some marvelous signs and synergies that my logical brain wrestled with but that, grouped together, simply point to endless abundance and endless presence. Such reassurance, if I allow it. I pay attention to what angels and God almost always say immediately upon encounters with humans, in sacred writings: “Do not be afraid.” And although I fail and rise and fall, and I yearn for something more tangible, I stumble forward, through Good Fridays, dark Saturdays, and Easters. And I am so grateful for your company.