|why does she have a cat? I dunno.|
I think sometimes we get stuck in Good Friday - or even Holy Saturday (or Black Saturday, as it is sometimes called) - and we forget about the promise of Resurrection Sunday. It's so easy to view our circumstances through "Good Friday lenses." We may look at the things that haven't quite turned out as we had hoped and think, "If God really loved me, I wouldn't be going through this right now." Or we may (rightfully so) be distraught over the state of the world's tragedies and wonder, "How can there be a good God when all these horrible things are happening around us?" If the story ended at Good Friday, those would be a valid questions. The thing is, that wasn't the end of the story.
Some of you know that my cousin, Josh, committed suicide eight years ago. Eight years feels like an eternity. In eight years, I have graduated from college, gotten married, had a baby. The last eight years have held a new lifetime for me. There is a song on Brooke Fraser's new album that talks about the cycle of grief. One of the choruses says, "Didn't want a year without you/ But somehow I've lived through another one." That's how I feel every year on April 10th. Some years it sneaks by unnoticed, but others - well it seems my heart remembers things that my mind forgets.
This year was one of those years when the grief felt fresh all over again. Eight years later. I told my friend Jordanne that I felt melodramatic to still be weeping after eight years. But grief is like that. It just rolls in and rolls out like waves. Sometimes those waves are soft and lapping, other times they collect into a tsunami. This year was a tsunami. I couldn't understand it. It's been eight years, shouldn't I be over this by now? Last year wasn't like this. What's different about this year?
As I reflected on it, I realized that this year perhaps felt similar to the year Josh died because of the date of Easter. The year he died, Easter was April 20th - ten days later. I remember how strange it felt to be celebrating the death and resurrection of Christ less than a week after we lowered Josh into his own tomb. This year, the anniversary of Josh's death fell on a Sunday. Exactly two weeks before Easter. I think it felt a little too familiar, too similar to the way it felt eight years ago.
However, familiar though it might be, this year is not the same. This year, just like many of the past eight year, I am armed with healing and truth and promise and hope because I have seen the truth of Julian's words come to be in my life. My testimony is not only that he will make all things well, but that he DOES and he HAS. Perhaps I will share a few of the things that make up that testimony another day, but for today - for Resurrection Day - I simply want to hesitate on the promise of no more tears, no more suffering, no more mourning, no more grief. I want to walk around a bit in the hope of all things well.
Julian of Norwich had a series of visions of Christ as she lay on what appeared to be her deathbed. She wrote them down and titled them Sixteen Revelations of Divine Love. In one of her visions, Julian asks a question very similar to the one I mentioned above. Julian asked, "Ah, good Lord, how could all things be well, because of the great harm which has come through sin to your creatures?"
Here is Julian's account of how the Lord responded:
And so our good Lord answered all the questions and doubts which I could raise, saying most comfortingly: I make all things well, and I can make all things well, and I shall make all things well, and I will make all things well; and you will see for yourself that every kind of thing will be well. ... And in these words God wishes us to be enclosed in rest and peace.So today, Easter Sunday - Resurrection Sunday - the Kautzi family is rejoicing in the rest and peace that comes from a story that didn't end in a grave. He makes all things well. He can make all things well. He shall make all things well. He will make all things well. I have seen for myself that every kind of thing will be well. Including my Baby Girl who, after four days of a high, high fever, woke up this morning with NO FEVER! Our very own little resurrection. Hallelujah! He is risen! And now, it's your turn. Say it with me:
He is risen indeed!