Before Jesus died, he drew his followers attention to a kernel of wheat.
If that kernel lived, he said, it would remain only a single seed. But, if it were crushed and broken, it would produce much life.
And this kernel is truth, and this kernel tells the story of my Jesus.
This Jesus who laid himself down, put on earthly baby skin, lived full as a man, washed filth from between toes, exalted small things, despised hypocrisy, healed the sick, loved the outcasts and children and proclaimed God’s love and hope that is for each one.
This Jesus who on Good Friday suffered humiliation, scorn, shame and the full weight of humanity’s brokenness upon the tree.
This Jesus died, but, as we remind our children and ourselves, he did not stay dead.
Yes, Sunday will come, and he is risen indeed, but first, the breaking, and I remember the places I’ve known the breaking, too — that dying that precedes life.
Last weekend, Michael and I walk on the unflinching barnacle-encrusted rocks and watch underfoot for the tender sea stars and anemone. We look back over nearly 15 years of marriage and remember sick places and places filled shame, and it is not where we live today.
But in the light of the full sun, waves rushing round, fingers interlaced, spring breaking through soil, we cannot forget those pitch dark nights — weeping on the bedroom floor, crying out with hearts broken near in half, and the struggle to trust one moment after a next. Our personal broken.
We only call it Good Friday because we know the ending and, in Jesus, we can always.
For the struggle, the mourning, the sorrow — the breaking always precedes the miracle.
So much more to say about this, but my time is (past) up. The family and I have enjoyed a full spring break, and there’s more good to come. I hope you are well and want you to know I count you among some of my most blessed gifts in this life. I’m not sure how much I’ll be posting in the next week, but want to wish you a beautiful Easter. Happy Easter, friends. He is risen indeed!