Did I Google search Are Blogs still revelvent in 2021?
Absolutely I did because who even knows anymore if people read blogs. I had to wonder if somewhere between Instagram stories, Tik-Toc , and Podcast was there still space for written thoughts. According to Google there is so here I am, so randomly on Easter Sunday morning of 2021 about to just pour out my thoughts after a year or more of silence.
In my late teens early 20’s I attended a church that did sunrise services on Easter Sunday. The church would find an outside venue that would allow them to set up and lead a service at Sunrise (hence the name) on that Sunday, and it was magical for me. Even now as I type this I can feel the emotion in my heart as the memory of those times play back within me. There was something about that time of worship in the morning. Standing outside surrounded by creation as the immenseness of the sun slowly rose into the endless sky. I felt a connection there with the Lord that wasn’t something I experienced every church service, as if the closeness of him was magnified in that outside space. And I miss it.
Easter changed for me after Katie Grace was born. My understanding of what actually went into the death and resurrection of Christ was completely rearranged.
We were six months into that first year of her life. We were slowly…oh so slowly….learning her and her needs. Issac randomly had a date with his Grammie that morning, and Katie Grace decided to take in impromptu morning nap. The demand of always having to have a watchful eye on her due to breathing complications while she was awake, made nap times pure gold in our home. Apparently a different part of her brain functioned in sleep and her breathing wasn’t nearly has high risk. It had been a few days since I had had a moment or a shower so I decided to kill two birds with one stone. It took five minutes of standing in that shower with the hot water descending over my exhausted body before the dam of emotion broke. With my eyes closed, letting the tears blend into the water, I simply said:
“I can’t do this Lord. How am I going to do this? Do you even understand how hard this is? That sweet baby is going to die so much earlier then I will ever be ready for. I am going to have to love her unto death! Do you even know how hard that is? How hard it is to stand here and watch her struggle? She is going to spend her life with pain I can not ease and then die….do you even understand how hard this is?”
It seemed a lot longer then it probably actually was before through my sobs and the water I heard a still and quiet “Yes, I do.” Jesus’s life then played out before me, every story I ever read about his life and death became a picture in my mind, every sermon I heard preached about his suffering and his strength became the soundtrack, and the last line being: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” John 5:19.
And I understood in a way I had never understood before.
Easter has always been about Jesus, his suffering, his death, his resurrection yet in that moment… in that conversation I accepted a deeper understanding. It wasn’t only just about Jesus…. it was about the Father. Jesus’s path undo death, his journey with suffering and the faith in resurrection wasn’t paved by him, instead it was sacred ground that God the Father had laid way before Jesus was born and walked the earthly ground. I knew in that moment as I walked the suffering that was going to be my daughters life, there was no ground God the Father couldn’t meet me on. Yes he knew what it was like to suffer with your child, yes he knew what it was like to make hard choices that cost you everything, and yes he knew what walking them into death was going to be like. He knew because He already had done it.
I felt so little standing in that shower. The weight of the vastness of God was far beyond what my humanity could understand and I felt so little. My value for what Jesus did for us in joining with humanity grew because I understood what the Father did first. I wonder if the greatness of love isn’t connected deep into suffering. We can’t have one without the other. Maybe suffering is what give us the capacity to understand the depths to which love can go. I don’t know….I do know that God the Father suffered first in the all the things we thank Jesus for on Easter Sunday. And because of that, the wildness and hugeness of God’s love is beyond what we can understand.
That was the magic of Sunrise Service for me. We weren’t confined by the walls of a church or the rules of Christian etiquette. We were just a collection of people surrounded by the gigantic beauty of nature. We started singing in darkness and ended blinded by the sun, unable to deny the beauty of nature. Unable to deny how broad the shoulders of love God the Father has because we were standing on them, in that moment, in that sunrise. I didn’t know it then what it was. I didn’t understand how unbelievably deep, wide, and unrelenting love was. I had no idea in my youth where that love would go…how far it would take me… how trustworthy it was… how substantial and immense it was. I just knew standing there, arms raised high, it was magic.
This Easter, I don’t have a Sunrise Service but I have the vastness of love. I have the remembrance of what love does, what it gives. In our world today, with all the questioning, all the fighting, all the madness really… I have what I know to be the truest and most trustworthy guide. I have love and the suffering that it took to receive it.