today is Good Friday.
For some reason i prefer this day to Easter Sunday. although, truthfully, i am always left disappointed at my inadequacy to enter into either fully. Good Friday speaks to me of disappointment, loss, sadness; the revelation that sometimes the Christian life looks empty of God's presence, looks confusing and ridiculous and embarassing.
maybe it's because of the frustration of my upbringing in the Pentecostal church - always encouraging me to find the joy of my salvation, to trust that everything will work out! Blessing! Health! Christ Conquers! truths, but not the Truth. How does one reconcile personal pain with such a belief system? and habitual sin? and crippling fear?
enter Good Friday.
and dark Saturday.
it is such a gift for me to see the Messiahs moment of absolute strength, His action of defeating sin and conquering death, clothed in humility, in humiliation, in pain and grief.
If God is in the business of using such things for His beautiful purposes, then surely there's a chance for my life to mean something extraordianary. As a Christ follower I don't have to put on a happy face, i don't have to pretend to have the 'joy joy joy joy down in my heart'. I don't have to wipe over my sin and failures and feign perfection. I am called to be real. as real as a man bleeding and broken and desperate on a cross.
i am called to share my pain with others, so that I can share my healing with them too. I am called to admit when I feel forsaken by God, so that He can awaken me again to the grace of each breath and heartbeat. I am called to expose my wounds, so that others may see their woundedness in me, and follow me to the source of Life.
pretending to forever live in the resurrection, while denying the reality of the crucifixion, and the dark day of abandoned emptiness, left me in a place of skin-deep religion. once i removed the masks of happiness and confidence i forced myself to wear, i was amazed to find there was nothing underneath them. and the amazing miracle of my life took place when i started to embrace my lack of trust, my brokenness, my fears, my idolatry - once i started naming these things and sharing them and taking steps away from them - i found the joy! blessing! wholeness! Christ conquers! resurrection can not happen without crucifixion.
so, dear friends and stranger alike: die today to the masks that you wear. come clean. and tomorrow you will live.