I've been running errands like a crazy-person today, trying to get ready for a trip to warmer climates. These errands have had me driving over a hundred miles today, visiting three different towns. And in each of these towns, I've passed multiple churches and companies that advertise Easter this week. A church near me is hosting an Easter party on Saturday. An acquaintance just celebrated an egg-hunt with her son yesterday. Everyone has an Easter sale this week. Everyone is ready to celebrate.
But it isn't time yet.
A friend of mine said she was having a hard time dealing with people wanting to celebrate the rebirth and happiness of Easter. With her son's death, her joy for this event had been stripped away. Not everyone is reborn. At the time, I didn't think too much about what she said, but with every "Happy Easter" greeting, I'm coming to believe...she's right.
This week is not about celebrating life.
Yesterday was Palm Sunday. A day to remember the time Jesus rode into a city where he would eventually be sentenced to death. And Holy Week is the slow march toward that painful fate. This is not a time of celebration or victory or bright colors. This is a time of remembering pain and darkness and death. And of course, many of you are asking yourself if I've lost it, but...
It is right to remember this pain.
All too often we overlook the hard parts in life--our losses, pains, sufferings--and rush to "get over it." People expect that when there's a sunny day on the far horizon, we should look beyond the rain that's falling on our heads.
But I refuse. Because there is beauty in that pain.
In loss and death there is beauty, and truth, and love. Christ's resurrection would mean nothing without His sacrifice. And the rest of my life would be meaningless if I did not remember the death of Carpenter. Every single good moment, every celebration, every happiness--they all mean so much more after the loss of my first son. If we cannot take the time to find beauty in the painful moments, we will never be able to truly understand what it is to celebrate something.
So today I find so much meaning in the sign I made for my boys' nursery:
"Praise God for the Rainbows and the Rain." For it is only through accepting the beauty in each of these that we may truly appreciate the other.