This has been an interesting morning. I got up early to write and spend time with God. I prayed, I sang songs, I wrote praise and blessed God for the beautiful morning. Then, I read by writing book, the one that encourages me to remember that writing is hard work.
I was ready. I went to turn on the computer and the blasted thing wouldn’t respond. I was patient for all of 15 seconds before I bit my lip and started wondering which door I’d like to throw it out of. As I rebooted it and waited an inordinate amount of time (like a whole minute, people!) I began to fight the urge to scream obscenities. Yes, obscenities. Goody-two-shoes me wanted to scream the most vile obscenities imaginable.
Eventually, as the computer became more stubborn, I not only yelled a few nasty words, I threw a notebook over my shoulder and it flew all the way to in front of the door, the entire length of the room. That was a pretty good toss, I’d say.
Finally, Word decided it would finally show up and do something, after I threatened it with a painful, bloody death. When it did boot up, I was so in a tizzy I wrote something that thoroughly expressed my fury that I will not let anyone see. But, that is what writers do. It is therapy. We write everything down because we have to. To put it down somehow lances the poison and lets healing start. I was snake-bit with rage and needed to get it out.
Now, this swearing and anger was not a proper thing to happen the day after Easter, was it? I just spent a glorious weekend celebrating a sacred holiday for me and many others. Good Friday was a triumph. We held a unique service and I was thankful to have written testimonies for biblical witnesses – Mother Mary (played by me), Peter, Doubting Thomas and the Roman soldier. I wrote some foundational testimonies for Mary Magdalene, Martha and Mary of Bethany, but saw those testimonies transformed in the work of the talented people who played them. Then we opened the floor up to other witnesses, people who would express just what Jesus has done for them. We had two people we knew were going to talk and hoped that others would be encouraged to also give a word or two of their stories. We were incredibly blessed that five other people stood up and shared. It was such a blessed night.
Sunday, we gathered back together, still glowing from the spiritual blessings we’d witnessed on Friday and celebrating the resurrection of Jesus with pancakes, new dresses, music and the word of God. I got flowers that I’d bought in Amber’s memory and in the memory of my neighbor’s husband Paul.
I started out my Monday with prayer and song and good intentions. Then, I blew it, right? I lost it and expressed incredible anger at what was really a minor inconvenience.
But, did that ruin all that happened the days before? I say no way. You know why? Because the anger I expressed was honesty and just as much a prayer as all the good things I’d said earlier. God already knew what was in my heart – he knew my impatience and the pent up frustration that was building, so why not express it in the safety of our relationship? I mean, if God is your best friend, you can tell him anything, right? That’s what we do with earthly best friends, right? There are people you hide your flaws from, and then there are people who love you and accept you, warts and all. Ideally at least. I mean, I wasn’t sure I wanted to share with anyone my unlovely behavior and thoughts, but everyone has moments like this, so why not be honest?
Presenting the world a perfect face does nothing but make others feel they can never measure up. The truth is, I am just as selfish, flawed and sinful as anyone. We all are. That is what makes Good Friday necessary and why Easter is such a triumph.
Because, when we couldn’t save ourselves from our unloveliness, from our weaknesses and human failings, Jesus stepped in and took that junk with him to the cross and killed it. It has no power over us. He sees every speck of dirt on our souls, every rotten thought, every selfish impulse, and picks those filthy rags up to place upon his own shoulders so we can walk free. Then, he rises from the grave clean and free, laughing in the face of evil because it does not have the last word. When we mess up, we aren’t defeated because we live in the truth of Easter, that we can rise again.
So, I won’t hide my truth from my best friend. He already knows it, so what good will it do me to try to bury it? Here I am, Lord, dirty, smudged face and all. Clean me, will you, Papa? Thanks for never giving up on me. Thanks for understanding. Thanks for healing me. And, thanks for being the kind of God I can trust. I know you love me, so I am not afraid to tell you all of my stuff, good and bad. Let’s take the day together now, shall we?