Yesterday was beautiful! And I guess really, it began Saturday night. Saturday night, as we tried to watch a movie late into the evening, thunder and lightening hit our little world with such force that at one point we were sure the single-pain rattly windows were not going to hold. Two of the kiddos woke up screaming and continued to cry for the hour that the thunder rolled through. The middle child said she woke up, but the thunder didn’t bother her so she rolled over and went to sleep. It was amazing weather – weather that we very rarely see in California, and at one point I commented to Scott that it was fitting really, that as we are in the midst of remembering that the stone was to be rolled away and that Jesus rose from the grave – thunder and lightening would fill the night. I wasn’t the only one who thought this, as was made clear the next morning at the Easter “sunrise” (8am) celebration in the park.
The morning which we assumed would continue to be dreary and wet and cold, turned into a beautiful sunny day. At the park, we sang songs and read the Easter story from the Children’s Storybook Bible with our growing Christ Church congregation. It was beautiful to see all of the people arrive with bundles of potluck breakfast food to enjoy the celebration together. The kids, ever the majority at these events, had the opportunity to run and play and find the over 600 eggs which my lovely friend hid for them, and then to just play at the park in the morning with their friends. It was lovely.
I have to say, this week has still been a doozy for me. First, I am overwhelmed by the amount of people who took time to not only read this crazy blog, but then took time to email me, or call, or just talk to me about it – to check in and make sure I am well. I am well friends – really – just struggling with life, which I think is probably normal since it is the main thing that you have told me this week: “I’ve been there”, “I’m still there”, “We’re all in this together”. I love that. While I’m struggling with the thought that to “love your neighbor as yourself” you must first love yourself, and I’m struggling with trying to be open to understanding what that means I need to change or embrace in my life, I am surrounded by a host of friends to walk through the same issues. One such friend posted earlier in the week, about her Lenten journey, and I think that her self-reminder that she is God’s beloved is something each one of us needs to remember. The part that gets me the most within that reminder: “You are my beloved, and with you I am well pleased” – is the end – “I am well pleased” – because really – I myself am not well-pleased with the things that I do daily – I often feel like those things aren’t enough, or aren’t the right things, so to think and believe that God is well-pleased with those same things, is a hard hard thing to accept. I’m still trying.
Last night at the 2nd annual Easter Baptismal Service at Christ Church Davis, God grabbed my hand once again (or slapped me across the face more accurately), to pull me out of self-pity and self-unloving as Eric repeated over and over again “Why do you look for the living among the dead?” and he said of the baptism that it is “Not dependent on what you’ve done or need to do, but what God has already done.” So if it is true that Christ rose from the dead and forgave us our infinite sins, why are we still looking for the living among the dead? Why am I still trying to be something I’m not, or do something I feel like I should have done or need to do – I am God’s beloved, and with me (thought I have trouble) he is well-pleased. God is well-pleased with me because His love is not dependent on the things I’ve done or need to do.
Then this morning, in my attempt to keep reading, the same idea was hammered home with this little thought:
“Nostalgia can be treacherous….As we come to prefer living in the past, we grow less able to enjoy the present or invest in the future.” (Norris, Acedia & Me)
It’s a jumbled mess of thoughts and life, and all of these things together, I love them.
Happy Easter my Friends! He is Risen INDEED!