The Day After

Lent has come and gone.
Lenten disciplines expired.
Hallelujah’s returned.
Darkness turned to light.
But what’s changed?

Today marks the first day of April, and the first day after Easter.
We have proclaimed to be Easter people, now what?
Will the pain of mourning subside?
Will the heavy load of transition get lighter?
Will saying good-bye become manageable?

This lent, more so than others, was filled with living in the brokenness of life. And while I don’t like living in brokenness, I did find comfort in being in the season of brokenness with others. It allowed me to name it and not pretend. To hear lament. To dwell in the now, and not rush to the not yet. And now that we are on “the other side,” I’m not sure I’m ready to move on – to let go, to believe the promises, and to focus on the brightness of Easter. I’m not done being angry, grieving, shedding tears…and the future is still so unclear.

Perhaps this was what the disciples where feeling the morning they went fishing. You know the story in John 21. It was after Jesus’ death and resurrection…and what did Jesus’ followers do? They did what they knew – they went fishing. Now I don’t fish, but I do long for some form of normalcy, which I think was what they were trying to find.

In MN the snow is melting, the sun shining, and my running shoes are ready to hit the pavement…puddles and all. It’s still cold and winter lingers in the air, but there are hints of summer and I long for those warm days. Perhaps it’s simple things like this, ordinary things, that move us from focusing on the brokenness to being driven by hope. I want it to be different, to wake up one day and all things are new, just like Easter morning. But that’s not real, at least for me.

The irony here is hope, God’s promise of new life, is the exact thing that got me through lent. And now that it’s here, Im not ready to pack it up and say good bye. It’s not that I live without hope. It’s just I don’t feel the joy…sense the abundance of life which accompanies Easter. Chocolates and new clothes don’t make it real. But maybe this is what it means to be Easter people – we live fully aware of both Good Friday and Easter Sunday. We can’t separate them

Abundant life is bittersweet. It’s melancholy, if you will, as Christians know joy because they know pain and brokenness. So today, I’m moving forward into life post-Easter taking Good Friday with me. Unlike my Christmas decorations, I’m not packing up the lenten disciplines and painful moments of these past days. Rather, I’m holding them in one hand as I also embrace life and hold hope in the other.

Growing into our Easter promises!

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