Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter Joy

I didn't sleep great last night. I am feeling kind of under the weather...scratchy throat and tired muscles. I have discovered that when I don't feel well, I take to yelling at Aaron during the night. Well, less like yelling and more like...scolding. Apparently last night I yelled at him for leaving his laundry out... forced him to re-fill the air humidifier (a necessity in the desert!)... forced him to close the window... yelled at him for being on "my side of the bed"... etc. The worst part is that while in my sleep I am evidently quite demanding, in his sleep, Aaron is quite... obedient. Haha... I am a terrible person!

Today was a sunny morning, of course. In Ohio, sunny mornings are few and far between and always gave me the joyful, yet anxious, feeling that I should 'make the most of them' by spending them outside when possible. Here in Arizona, sunny mornings are the rule, not the exception. I guess the statistic is that we have something like 300 days of sun on average each year. While I don't think I've lived here long enough to not still love it, I admit there are days when I feel a slight nostalgia for clouds.

There's a Hootie & the Blowfish song (I love them, and am in no way ashamed of that. You should know this about me.) with a lyric that says "Sometimes you wanna see the rain, but the sun gets in your eyes..." and I love that. I am quite certain he was trying to be much more existential than I am now interpreting, but I felt that way this morning. I feel under the weather and a little homesick, and if there were ever a day for clouds, today should have been it! Come on!

I went to Good Friday mass last night. I don't belong to a Catholic parish anymore, but something in me still pushes me to mass on special occassions, especially when my Christian church doesn't have anything going on. The mass last night was beautiful and quiet and serene, but respectfully sorrowful. Growing up, it was my absolute favorite service of the year. So somber, but not bleak; because we know what is coming on Sunday.

I sang at my church growing up for something like 7 years or so I think, and there's a song we sing on Good Friday that I LOVE. We sang it last night, too - it is called "Behold the Wood." It is sung while the church practices the "veneration of the cross," which is when a wooden cross is placed at the front of the altar, and church members can come up and touch it, kiss it, etc. and pray. It is so lovely.

The thing that always gets me about Good Friday is trying to imagine how God's people felt when it was actually happening. It's not something I think we as a church concentrate on too much; to imagine a Good Friday when we didn't know Easter was coming soon after. There really isn't much reason to concentrate on that I suppose; other than the fact that it makes Jesus' ressurrection that much more SURPRISING, and I think that has value.

Can you imagine what Jesus' disciples must have been thinking? We're told that each time Jesus predicts his death to them it confuses them; that the truth of it was "hidden from them." I really don't think they understood that he was physically going to have to die. So if they didn't understand that, and then it actually starts happening... can you imagine? Here's what I imagine would have been going through my head:

1: WHAT THE?!?
2: Is he seriously dying?! I thought that couldn't happen!
3. Maybe He isn't who He said He was...
4. Did I just waste an entire 3 years of my life following this fraud?
5. How could He lie to us like this? I thought he was the Son of God! I really did!
6. This is so am I going to answer for my faith in Him after this?
7. He looks so pitiful up there...that can't be what God looks like...

etc. etc.

We don't really have any info on what the disciples did on Saturday, but I imagine it was quite a numb day. And fearful, and embarrassing. Everything they had been proclaiming so boldly for so long; the thing that had given their lives purpose was completely gone and dead. And we know it must have been a fearful day, because even AFTER Jesus rose, they still lived in fear because they were Jews (see Acts.)

But thinking about all that just makes Easter seem that much more glorious, doesn't it? They may have thought it was all over and that their lives were wasted, and then suddenly, oh! Right! He came back for us!

Maybe some of the disciples had the faith to know He wasn't gone for good, but I'm not sure I would have. Either way, imagining the monumental, body-filling relief and the joy they must have felt when they realized it was Him who rose on Easter morning makes my heart glad. Would that I can feel a little of that surprised and grateful joy tomorrow (and always!)

Well, Aaron is home from the Cubs game he went to this afternoon with our pastor, and I think I am going to lie down and chase this scratchy throat away.

By the way, I just had a little chat with my best friend Amy and promised to give her a mention in this post. Last night another of our friends stayed at Amy's place in Columbus, and at one point during the night Amy admitted to noticing that our friend didn't seem to be breathing (our friend has narcolepsy) yet Amy simply rolled over and went back to sleep. Now, I may be bossy in my sleep but at least I'm not homicidal! Watch out for Amy, Ohioans. (Not sure this was the "mention" she was hoping for but I have to write the truth!) ;)

Happy Easter! Be joyful!

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