I wrote this piece for SheLoves Magazine in May and completely forgot to share it here. I think that’s pretty indicative of the state of our lives right now… Even though the words were written during the Easter season, I still think about walking those seven miles away from Jerusalem. We’re still grieving small and big losses, still living in the tension of the unknown. I thought I’d post it now, at the height of summer, as a reminder that the Easter spirit can be yearlong. Here’s an excerpt; head over to SheLoves to read the full article!
First came our stay-at-home orders. They went into effect in mid-March, right at the part of Lent when my forty-day practice felt less Draw-closer-to-Jesus and more Oh-no-I-forgot-to-practice-Lent! Our entire state was asked to give up friendships, gatherings, church and school, as well as all markers of normalcy. Lent was put into real-life practice and felt so very appropriate.
Then Easter came. We practiced communion on the couch with the week’s school activities still strewn about all available surfaces. It was an Easter where we leaned into the hope of resurrection, dreaming of our own societal resurrection at the end of quarantine life.
Now, we’re still here. Some places around the world are slowly opening up, trying to put new systems in place to establish new norms. The newness has worn off our shelter-in-place. Our house is no longer as clean or as sanitized as it was in the early days. Now that we have a decent school routine established, the days blend together in a kind of fogginess. Our highs are higher and our lows are lower. And even though there are projected dates to start easing up on restrictions, the end isn’t really in sight.
In the church calendar, we’re in Eastertide right now. These are the fifty days between the resurrection of Jesus and his ascension back into Heaven. In these days, Jesus appeared to groups of his disciples and news spread of his return. But not everyone got the news right away.
One of my favorite stories is about two disciples walking away from Jerusalem on the road to Emmaus, a town about seven miles away.
As they were walking and talking about Jesus’ death, Jesus himself appeared beside them and asked them what they were talking about. I love how the New Living Translation tells it, “They stopped short, sadness written across their faces.” (v17)
Luke felt the need to describe how these two looked in the midst of a great crisis. Sadness was written on their faces. When I read those words again recently, I stopped there. Normally, I love this story because it reminds me that God is often found when we are walking away from the center of religion. Today I love it, because I am reminded that God acknowledges the sadness written on our faces.
God showed such tenderness toward these two grief-stricken disciples. Head over to SheLoves to read the rest!