You Can’t Have Easter Without Good Friday

In 1996, I was deeply hurt by someone I’d loved for many years. His behavior – our behavior – took me to an emotional place I’d never been. In the midst of this dark, septic place, a woman said to me, “You can’t have Easter without Good Friday.”

Growing up Christian, I knew Good Friday was the day Christ was crucified, but I’d not thought about the day as a metaphor for personal pain and suffering. When she shared that with me, I thought, “What good could come of this pain? How can there be an ‘Easter’ in all this incredible sorrow and hurt?”

I was living and feeling despair day after day. How could he do that to me? How could I have been so stupid? How can I trust anyone again? On and on the questions played in my head. However, hearing those words and the gentle way in which she spoke them drove a wedge in my endless regurgitation of anger, and they gave me hope that one day I would be whole again.

I hung on to that hope and, more importantly, began acting on that hope, and eventually Easter arrived. I smiled again, trusted again and was able to forgive and move on. I still remember that painful time with some regret and sadness – Good Friday was not meant to be forgotten – but my Easter, my renewed life, was worth working for.

I was reminded of this woman’s wisdom as I walked around our muddy yard today in search of life. It’s been a long winter – cold and nasty – and the prediction is for 3-5 inches of snow tonight. I’m tired and am almost desperate for better weather. I know there’s nothing I can do to change the weather, but I can change how I respond to it. So I went outside looking for hope. And there it was: daffodil and tulip shoots popping through the nearly disintegrated mulch and chives sprouting in the corner of my garden. Small bright green growths no bigger than a sparrow’s leg, but they restored my peace of mind. Despite any snow we get tonight, they will still be there, waiting and growing.

My wish for all of you this Easter is peace. Even if you’re living in the pain of Good Friday, Easter will come. It always does.

See you again next week.

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