Friday, 22 April 2011
I had a very mixed day today.
I felt twitchy and scattered and all the things that keep me grounded, keep me connected to some sense of God in the world, seemed like things that aren't very Good Friday-ish. After all, we mustn't rush to Sunday.
I question the puritanism, the masochism, of spending Good Friday wallowing in our misery -- and especially of implying that those who take a gentler route are not taking things seriously enough.
Yes, mourning is important. Yes, remembering where we have been is important. Yes, knowledge of our own sinfulness, our own utter dependence on God, is important. We have a liturgical calendar for a reason and there is value in dark times, quiet times, solemn times, in confronting the hard truths of our lives. I don't deny that this time is harrowing for some, and that is right and of God. I don't deny that there are people who would rather take shortcuts, would rather skip the hard bits, and that we all need to be aware of a tendency to minimise, in our own minds, the suffering of Christ on the Cross.
But I spent years feeling bereft and bewildered and I am not ready to let go of resurrection hope just because the church's calendar says this is a time of remembering bereft bewilderment. I'm not clinging to hope because I want to skip the hard bits. I'm clinging to hope because if I cling to anything else I deny God in favour of my own pride. I keep reminding myself of the light not because I don't recognise the power of darkness, but because it is the only way for me to avoid succumbing to that darkness. That is true on a daily basis in my life -- hope in Christ keeps me turning toward God. Withdraw the hope and I turn away, into myself. If that means my faith is somehow small or weak, lame or shrivelled, well, too bad. It is what it is.
It took most of a day of near-paralysis, not really knowing what to do with myself, to get to the point where I gave up on thinking I "should" or "shouldn't" do things. I stopped fighting myself and went outside and did some gardening. It was that or head back to church, and the garden was closer. There is no unholy ground, only ground we refuse to recognise as holy.
Only after I came inside did I realise that burying seed in the ground is a pretty Good Friday-ish thing to do. I never sow seed and know for sure that it will grow, but the hope is always there.