This year the Easter story is taking on a new reality.
I love the donkey. It’s such a beautiful symbol of the drudgery of life moving methodically, plodding, head down – feeling the heat of the burden of responsibility.
Then the leaves of the palm tree waving in the hands of others alongside the road, feathered flags of comfort, sending refreshing air, and encouraging us. We are social beings; we are part of the parade and part of the crowd. We don’t do the alone.
The good/bad Friday suffering – is the torture of knowing we are going to die – that dreaded word filled with finality which can be experienced in anticipation long before we actually come to the end. The displayed suffering is full of humiliation, wounds and bleeding.
The cross – stark wood stretched and nailed together – standing on the hill, the ugly symbol of the vulnerability of death. Our body will eventually give up – the lungs will stop fighting for breath, the heart stop beating – and our spirit will leave – the final transition to a new reality.
This is the part that is scary – the new reality. Death,
After Candace died – someone said to me, “Life on earth will never seem quite so dear – and Heaven never quite so far.” Heaven – the concept is beautiful – the reality comforting – the prospect frightening.
The Easter story is really all about celebrating these transitions from the donkey to the parade to the cross and right into Heaven.
Cliff is writing about his donkey years, sometimes I feel the soft fan fare of the palm leaves, but right now the hospital bed that they set up in our dining room brings with it a new immediacy of the suffering that lies ahead – and then of course heaven.
The one thing I am realizing is that Heaven isn’t only out there but already inhabits the bed has moved into our house. It is the new reality…. It is hovering close.
And this is the beauty of Easter – that which we fear the most is really full of heavenly surprises.
Heaven creates a vulnerability – thrives on complete transparency. It is all about pure love.
So, we linger over cups of soup – and share an intimacy that is heavenly. We have never talked so much about heaven.
Heaven holds the promise of powerful connection that feeds our souls.
Even the thought of heaven, the grief of losing, and the hope of bliss is much more fulfilling than the loneliness of life.
We should fear life that holds nothing but fear, pain and disconnection rather than the promise of Heaven that fills us with hope….
Right now – this Easter process, this transition from this reality to the next – is passive aggressive – and here I am smiling.
I wish I could assure you that we are doing this smoothly – with elegance and grace. But we’re not. It’s not pretty – and then we resort to that thing called humor for which we still need those jokes.
Thank you for your wonderful support which we are feeling through your prayers and the thoughtful gestures, the gifts and those groaner jokes.
We love you! Happy Easter
somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God.
Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be. Anne Frank