It's a drizzly, gray Easter Sunday. My house still smells strongly of baked ham and faintly of Easter lilies. My mind hums with great old hymns that I've gotten to sing over the past few days and my heart, and belly, feel full. The heart with hope, the belly with coconut cake. :)
I wanted to take this moment to tell of something that happened a week ago that connects to the events celebrated this weekend. I woke up way too early for a Saturday morning. Throughout this pregnancy, I've had trouble sleeping. Often, if I wake up in the middle of the night, I can't fall back asleep and that's how it was this morning. I sat on the sofa and tried to finalize my BSF lesson because we were having leader's fellowship that morning at 7AM, but I kept getting caught up in checking my bank account, trying to crunch and squeeze numbers for the upcoming months. My mind managed to switch gears from money to the many tasks ahead of me as the school year comes to a close- the AP Bio exam, finals, the boat party, planning for next year. Then finally thoughts turned to Story and how clueless I feel about what to do with her, how to take care of her. How I need to read more books on baby care, and schedule that hospital tour, not to mention all of the loose ends that still dangle over us regarding her childcare for next year.
Before I knew it, it was 6AM, and my tired body and weary mind headed for the shower. The worries and responsibilities that had accumulated while I sat on the sofa, pelted down like the water- hot and steady, unrelenting. How will I ever endure this? But then, in my mind's eye, I could see something. Arms stretched out over me, arms that I knew had been bloodied and bruised. And a back, torn to shreds, but still somehow capable of bearing the brunt of every single worry that had kept me from sleep that night. It was my Savior. Stretched out over me. On that cross I couldn't live without. There He was, to receive on my behalf what I could never bear on my own. As I thought of this, tears as hot as the water streamed down my face. I felt relief at once. Every anxiety that had plagued me that morning was instantly gone. He took my sin and my sorrows, and made them His very own.
I love Easter. Every year, there seems to be something increasingly sweet about my Savior. It amazes me how, year after year, I stand at Good Friday and Easter Sunday services, amazed at the presence of Jesus, the Nazarene and wonder how He could love me, a sinner, condemned, unclean.
In the book I'm reading for school right now, the writer says that Christians are "people of the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ." That just as orthodox Jews might say that they are "people of Moses, led out of slavery in Egypt, and forever changed by the events of the desert journey that took them into the Promised Land," I am a person forever changed by the events of Calvary and the Empty Tomb. And this feels so right today. Because when all the other "stuff" of life, the bank-account-squeezing and end-of-year-finishing and let's-panic-about-baby-raising becomes too much for me, there He is. Not telling me it will all be alright, or that my best is going to be good enough. Not boosting my self esteem or minimizing any of these troubles. But rising above me, arms outstretched, reminding me of what He has done for me, what He has finished. And that puts it all into perspective. Because I am a person of the cross, a person who shelters underneath it when times are too hard, and this burden is too heavy. I know that I am always welcome there, that the work done there tells me so much about this God-Man who loves me so much that He would go there for me thousands of years ago, and yet knows me so well in the present, that He would give me a vivid image of Himself there when my soul is weary and troubled.
I don't know about those numbers I crunched, and my best might not be good enough to get those kids ready for the AP exam and I might forget to tie a dozen (or many more) loose ends before this school year ends. I still haven't scheduled that hospital tour or finished reading Baby Wise, but on Friday I stood beside my mom at the Long Center, and together we sang, "You are my King" to the Resurrected One, and it was as sweet as this life has to offer. There, in my mind's eye, I could see Him as He will come-Rider on a White Horse- the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, coming in blinding glory- to make everything sad come untrue. I don't know where I'll be when that day comes, but I know that I will sing the same words- "You are my King," and the fact that someone so eternally glorious could really be mine forever makes me feel safe, even in the sea of uncertainty upon which Andy & I sail in April 2015.
Suffering Servant and King of Kings. I praise You today. My One and Only. I love you. Happy Easter.
-Meredith, a Daughter of the Cross and Resurrection