There is a boy in you who may well be dying for you to become the man you must become now; there is a girl likely breathing her last so a more primal woman may rise and take her place.
I think about Jen Hatmaker’s Good Friday post last year “My Saddest Good Friday in Memory: When Treasured Things are dead” http://jenhatmaker.com/blog/2017/04/14/my-saddest-good-friday-in-memory-when-treasured-things-are-dead. I resonated with this post in every way. Beth Moore also had a blog post about the Identity Crisis of her life. It sounded so much like my lament too. We were all feeling this. https://blog.lproof.org/2017/08/identity-crisis-life.html
I say all of this to say, I don’t skip over Good Friday anymore. Good Friday is very real. It did not end well. A lot of what we are seeing now will not end well. Today I lament. I remain disillusioned by so much and I am not afraid to cry anymore. I will walk the Road to Emmaus because Jerusalem does not feel like home anymore. Jesus will meet us even when we walk away. The Eucharist is a time I encounter the hope I will glimpse Jesus again and we will reconcile with our brothers and sisters.
I am not afraid to live the Friday and Saturday with the hope of resurrection. My life has reflected this very thing. Last year at this time I was not in a good place. Today I am in a much better place, but I am still very aware of the reality that our world is shaking. The glimpses of Heaven I see each day keeps me hoping for a new day.
I will share a little of my own journey these last 2 years when I visited Austin. It was my walking away and coming back home. My Road to Emmaus. Home just looks different now.
I finally got to a point I could not do church because it did not feel like home anymore. I took a trip to Austin with my friend Stephanie to go to Jen Hatmaker’s church. We did this 2 years in a row. Both trips were so fun and full of whimsy and adventure. The first time we walked all over downtown Austin and then it started raining. We were near this beautiful Catholic church so we decided to take a look and get shelter. There was nothing telling us anything was going on. Well, we walked in on a wedding about to start! Ha! We were in ponchos soaking wet and the Grandmother of the groom was so excited we came and asked us to crash the wedding. It was unbelievable. The Grandmother was the best and told us to wait until we see her on the dance floor. We were dying. We did not stay for the whole wedding because it is a Catholic wedding and you know that is LONG! But we took a selfie (of course) and walked out so full of joy only to see a homeless man needing help. We had nothing at that moment to give and I saw his face fall. That was hard coming out on such a high to someone not invited to the party. It just won’t leave me. I realized I had left overs that I hadn’t thought about until it was too late. So the next day we drove downtown Austin before church to give the food to the first homeless person we saw. Steph found someone digging in the trash and handed him our leftovers. He had a cigarette in his mouth and told her “Thank you Ma’am” and he watched her walking away. I know we cannot solve the homeless problem but we sure can give them dignity every chance we get, and then go back home and start looking at our systems that allow people to be homeless. Then we went to church – Jen was not there, Brandon was and an older couple greeted us and told us all about the church and what they are doing. It was Jen’s parents. Steph figured it out and we told them they were busted. Their church is serious. I was like “what is this”?! They ask questions about poverty, homeless, working poor, adoption, veterans.
The second year we went was so fun too. We went downtown again and found out it was the Science March! I had completely forgotten. We joined the party. We listened to people speak whose words in the past I would have said “blasphemy” but now thought – that is interesting. We joined the march and it was incredible. Cars driving on the interstate were honking in solidarity. It felt so unified and important. Then we found a South African food truck. We went to Jen’s church again b/c Jonathan Martin was speaking. That is when I met him and he embraced me…. “Lindsay! I feel like I know you already from Twitter” Ha! I sat down next to a very nice lady and we talked a bit. She then revealed she was Brandon’s sister and then Jen and Brandon sat right in front of us. I was thinking this journey was the best thing ever. We were able to talk to Jen and Brandon a bit after church about our hope for the church.
I really wanted a church again because of this. I felt what it could be like. Church can be more open, more vulnerable, allow women and LGBT equal opportunity to serve and pastor, and talk about hard things. We must address issues of today. I read an article today by Mitch Randall, executive Director of Ethics Daily.com stating Jesus did not die because he offered “thoughts and prayers”, he was executed because he challenged the powerful and turned their systems upside down. He also had a radical position of including the “other”. His way was also the way of nonviolence. This quote by Nate Pyle: “The crowds cried, “Barabas! Give us Barabas!” Then they cried Crucify him!” And then Jesus went like a lamb to the slaughter so that we might know the character of God. God is not the bloodthirsty crowd demanding appeasement. God is the love that suffers for us.”
The church of the future is the one who recognizes this Jesus.
I live in hope of the Resurrection. For now I am sitting with Friday and Saturday.