This is the first time in my entire life that I didn’t feel joyful on Easter, just a deep and echoing grief. You see, I haven’t made it to the “triumphant resurrection” part of Easter yet in my life. I’m stuck on Good Friday. On death.
Part of me died last year. Maybe it was the Easter dress, church on Sundays, lunch afterwards part of me. Maybe I’ve just become a “bleeding heart liberal,” maybe I’ll “outgrow it when I’m older.” But I can’t rejoice today when I see all the pain, the evil decisions being made on a near daily basis it seems by the current administration, and the suffering (a Syrian bombing taking 126 lives even TODAY, amidst the egg hunts) going on & meanwhile, say the same things, post the same Facebook Easter statuses, and take the same pictures in my pretty Easter clothes.
I look at those happy pictures and posts & I feel envious.
I wish I could go back to that time; it was simpler. I wish I didn’t cry every time I read the news. I wish I didn’t feel such anger at those who say they are “pro-life” or even Christian, yet support blindly things I truly believe Jesus would be against. I wish I could go back to the faith of my youth–no questions ever asked, all things believed with 100% fervor, back when reading Donald Miller was considered scandalous. But that wasn’t real faith.
Real faith is learning to sit with the doubt, the darkness, the death and hope and believe that it will get better–that resurrection is coming. And when you go through dark times, it can’t be prettied up with a new dress and flattering selfie. When you’re stuck on Good Friday, you can’t fake it anymore. You’re sitting in the ugly & living in it.
Today, I am angry, exhausted, and sad. I could point fingers, name names, make a list alphabetically of the complaints I have against the modern church in America, and talk a lot about hypocrisy. But that would make me the exact same & that isn’t fair.
I can only speak for myself. I can only live my own life. I am living and working out my faith as a process, the only way I know how: taking care of others, speaking up for those who have been silenced by oppressive forces & showing love to those who are forgotten. This is true religion to me.
I hope to celebrate Easter again–I have to believe that there is a hope and redemption. But for now, I am stuck on Good Friday.
(I wish I could quote this entire article, but instead of just copy/pasting literally the whole thing, I’m linking it. Jen Hatmaker writes about the same feeling. So poignant.)