Happy Easter! Happy Resurrection Day! Today is a day for reflection and gratitude for God's love and the death and resurrection of Jesus and the gift of our salvation. This blog post by Beth Moore's daughter Melissa this week made me think about it in a new way.
I particularly keep thinking about this part...
I’m currently finishing a wonderful book called A Glorious Dark by A.J. Swoboda (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2014). Swoboda argues that Christian faith must enter all three days of the long weekend: “we must embrace the pain of Friday’s sunset, the awkwardness of Saturday’s silence, and the hopeful sunrise of Sunday morning.” Swoboda suggests that most of us, rather than entering the whole weekend, are selective about the one day we want to experience. Swoboda says that this picking and choosing creates three incomplete “knock-off” versions of Christianity:
“Friday Christianity is the religion of those who’ve chosen to find their identity in a spirituality of defeat, death, and loss. Their spiritual depth abides solely in the torment of the suffering on the cross . . . Sunday Christianity is equally problematic. These chipper, slick, ever-too-happy Christians see God in, and only in, victory, prosperity, and blessing . . . Sunday Christianity dismisses the realities of death and loss . . . Saturday Christianity is for those of us who’ve come to consider doubt and ambiguity as final destinations rather than conduits through which we actually enter into resurrection. When we celebrate only Holy Saturday, we believe, in our doubt and questioning, that we have permission to be cynics and deconstructionists—and that everyone should sit in our graves with us.”
I agree that we need to experience the pain and joy of each day of this weekend. But I'm so thankful that the story doesn't end on Saturday! Hooray for that empty grave!
This is one of my favorite Easter photos ever - look at those sweet faces - and those cheeks!
Easter is very different this year - long gone are the days of cute Easter outfits and hiding and finding Easter baskets (and Nerd boxes). In recent years we've been away for Easter, on vacation in England or France or Florida, but this year I'm resting and conserving my strength for tomorrow when I'll be flying to Paris and be gone until May 1! Then I'm home for three days and then in Italy until June. The last few days have been spent mostly in bed, staying off my feet, but filled with emails and phone calls overseas, checking on all the details and arrangements for handicap accessibility since I'll be spending most of my time in a wheelchair. My doctor's orders are very strict that I MUST not put any weight on my left foot and be careful with my right foot. He scared me enough that you know I will be obeying him! Packing has been easier in some ways - I don't need to worry about comfortable shoes or taking any pants since I can't get them over my cast - but more challenging in other ways - just getting things out of the closet and into a suitcase is a challenge!
As difficult and disappointing as this injury has been, I am still thankful for soo many things: that I still have feet, that I didn't require surgery, that all the broken bones are in a good position to heal correctly, that it happened in the US and I wasn't alone, that Becca is able to travel with me and help me, for all sixteen sweet ladies that are meeting me in London and Paris and have been so supportive, for my husband who has had to take time off work to take me to a bunch of appointments and waited on me at home, for the prayers and well-wishes of dear friends around the world, for the sweet cards I've gotten in the mail, for my free first class upgrade for my flights so I can lay down, for the comfort of God's Word, and for the promise that I never need to be afraid.
I love this verse that my friend Larell sent me yesterday: "The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged" Deuteronomy 31:8. That is going to be my promise for this trip. It reminds me of this page I did in my Journaling Bible not long ago. Little did I know that soon I would be depending so much on Him going before me and following behind me!
I pray that today you'll enjoy family and friends and be thankful for the blessings that surround you. Thank you so, so much for all your prayers! I'll be counting on them in the days ahead. I'll be blogging next from Paris - the next adventure begins! You can see more real time photos on Facebook and Instagram if you want to follow along.
Much love, Debby :)