Last week, my friends, Jenny, Jeanne and I had a great conversation, that ended up talking about Lent – and how Jeanne and I were kind of over what we had decided to give up/take on for the season.
When I lived in California, I went through a really good, say 5 year streak, of being mad at God. I used to walk down to the beach at high tide and yell at him. It was great, and I really think that we oddly communicated well that way, cause I was dealing with things that were bigger to me emotionally than just kneeling beside my bed and saying some nice little words. Prayer isn’t one of my spiritual gifts anyway, but for some reason this vocalization to God felt true to me.
I haven’t gotten to do that for a while, as obviously the mighty Cumberland River isn’t quite the force of the Pacific Ocean.
So I was thinking that this year, maybe I need to grab ahold of Good Saturday. The day when the disciples and Mary and Mary Magdalene had to have felt a mixture of anger and sadness and terror. They had to be pissed and bitter and so confused about this person, this idea, this promise that they had put all their hope and energy in. I think I resonate a lot with these women anyway. Mary Magdalene was with the body of Jesus when they put him in the tomb. She understood grace firsthand. Mary (I always get confused if this is the same Mary Magdalene, or if it’s Mary of Mary and Martha fame)… She could do nothing but be as extravagant as possible in her outpouring of love—and perfume. I know me. I would have sat in stunned silence that day, questioning everything, not knowing where to turn, and smelling the expensive perfume that was probably still in Mary’s hair, while remembering what grace looked like just a few days earlier.
This year, I think I’m going to have my own little funeral for Jesus. I’m going to write a eulogy about the things that I don’t understand. The stuff that gets in my way. The things that I really don’t believe that God is going to take care of.
But I’ll also need to remember all that God has taken me through and what he has done and the times I know where he has been right with me. I probably need to buy some red roses and throw them in the river or place them under a cross somewhere…I don’t know. This is a work in progress.
And then, on Sunday morning, Resurrection morning, I’d like to be like Mary Magdalene and get up early to discover an empty tomb. Let’s remember it was Mary who Jesus appeared to first (since the boys had already left and went back to their hideout…) Mary stuck around long enough to see the angels…and then Jesus. It’s just an idea, but I think it’s something I need to do this year.