Today is Good Friday. I am so glad to be free from school schedules today. It's nice that our kids are out for Good Friday and not some secular-coated spring holiday. Around here, it's Good Friday. Everyone knows it's a holy day...or it's supposed to be.
I am feeling weighed down by the Act; by what I believe happened today all those many years ago. Last year was the first time I ever gave up something for Lent. It was coffee. Not super self-sacrificing or anything. But I do enjoy my coffee and it did mean something to me to give it up; to focus on what Christ gave up...for me. This year, I didn't give up something. It seemed somehow flat to do the same thing again. I thought of not eating sugar or desserts or meat or something like that but I know secretly I would hope to be losing weight as a result of abstaining from that stuff for 40 days. It seems wrong to me to use Lent to lose weight.
I am not a reflective person by nature. It takes effort for me to actually look 'into' what something is or means or seems instead of just going with my initial reaction. I realize I need to work on this but am coming to the realization that I lack the tools to do that.
I am reading a little book by Lauren Winner called The Mudhouse Sabbath. I am just about to be finished with it. I read her book Girl Meets God a few years ago when she was the keynote speaker at the ZOE conference. I appreciate her writing and her thoughts. I appreciate that she's my age and thus not so far removed from the the experiences I've had. She grew up Jewish and then converted to Christianity in her 20s I think. She attends an Episcopalian church in Charlotte, NC. She is a reflective person. She ponders and studies and researches and writes. I am grateful for people like her who provide tools for people like me. I think I may get myself a prayer book.
I keep thinking about Jesus' friends on today. He was gone; taken. I can't imagine the not knowing. I can't imagine knowing that he most likely wasn't coming back to them and feeling like, "Now what?" They don't know about Sunday and what will happen. He's just gone; out of their reach.
But I do know about Sunday and I can't wait for it's arrival. Last year, I woke up with this thought, "He's risen! He's alive!" I had set my coffee maker the night before and I got up to the smell of a fresh pot. I fixed myself a cup, got my bible and went and sat on the patio at the table and read all 4 Gospel accounts of the crucifixion and Resurrection. I love John's. I love when it tells of the women going to the tomb and Mary is crying and Jesus comes to her and asks her why. I picture her as looking at the ground, trying to hide her tears from who she thinks is a stranger. And Jesus says, "Mary." Just her name. I imagine him saying it with emotion, like, "Mary...look at me." But he doesn't even get that far. When he says her name, she knows. He's alive! He's risen! He's here. Mary hurries back to tell the others. Can you imagine being one of only a couple of people who knew that this had happened? It might be like knowing you had picked the winning numbers for the lottery and as soon as you confirmed you're the winner, it'd be all over the news. But for now, the knowledge is your own.
I'm not an expert so I don't know how many Christians are in the world and how many non-Christians know, in an academic way, that this guy named Jesus supposedly rose from the dead on Easter. But my guess is, there's a lot of folks that know this. Or at least know about it. I can't imagine when that wasn't the case, when it was just Mary and her friends, until they told and Jesus showed up all over the place to lots of people.
So now it's been thousands of years. I've been alive 35 of them, and I'm still learning how to reflect on Easter. It does take effort. But He says my name. "Dixie..look at me." And I know he is here. He always will be.
Hurry up Sunday.