Today, I've been listening to a worship compilation, and was reminded about how much I like this song: Stronger by Hillsong.
I'm starting this blog on Maunday Thursday, feeling pretty worn out. I spent most of last night dozing a little and waking up suddenly in a panic to check for more news about Papa, my grandfather, who is in very critical condition at a hospital back home. It's hard to describe exactly what it feels like to be far away from home when things like this are happening...if you've been there you know it. For me it's like I am half here and half sort of floating around somewhere in some kind of world where there are just question marks. I can't even say that I'm half here, and half at home, because it's just too far. I have moments where it doesn't feel real at all, like it's some kind of story I'm hearing that I'm not apart of, and other times I feel it fully and emotions either hit me like a ton of bricks or I just sort of feel like I'm empty. To continue getting through work days where you need to be on all day, you have to sort of keep yourself in this type of "story-I'm-not-apart-of-zone" through willpower...so it can be tiring. Like pushing back against a door that has no latch and there's a windstorm outside. I'm glad I'm teaching and not sitting at a desk, because my students are great distractions.
And then there is the tough stuff that is happening around me and my family that doesn't deal with us directly, but is heavy on my heart: the fires in Valparaiso; the sunken Ferry near Jeju. The kind of loss that is going there makes any kind of loss I'm feeling seem like it should be insignificant.
In the midst of all this, here we have come to Holy Week. Somehow it seems both incredibly fitting and jarringly constrastive to the situation. It seems like we're living in a perpetual combination of Good Friday and the Saturday after, and it seems pretty unbelievable that there is a resurrection coming anytime soon.
I have not been feeling like one of the Easter People that you hear preached about. It's hard to remember that life is coming when all you can think about is how just absolutely awful death is. I guess it's a "natural part of life" in the sense that it inevitably happens and we've grown to reluctantly expect it, but I really don't think it's natural at all. Death always feels a bit like something has gone wrong. Because truly, it has. We were meant for life; Easter is about God making it available again. So in that sense, maybe living in this grey haze during Holy Week is something of a blessing. I'm really feeling a deep need for Easter, for the promise of life--physically and spiritually.
We had a footwashing this morning in our community devotions. Perhaps it felt sort of thrown together to some, or kind of like tradition for the sake of tradition, but it was so meaningful for me. The action of footwashing reminds me of the care of people, service, and being there for each other; every time I get to participate in it, the physical action brings to mind all the people who have been there for me, and reaffirms for me the beauty of service in Jesus' name. Maundy Thursday at Fairivew Ave Brethren in Christ is one of my most favorite things, and this morning brought a little taste of that. It was sweet sweet sweet to a tired and sad heart.
So bring on Sunday! further up and further in, as C.S. Lewis says.