It has been awhile since I've done any blogging. For much of April my computer was out of commission - both an inconvenience and a refreshing break. Now that it is up again, I am finding the outdoors more appealing than my desk. Ripe blackberries are calling. There is grass to plant, beds to weed, ant mounds to destroy. And the weather is still beautiful.
I wrote in March that early spring, Lent, is my favorite time of the year. This year I am discovering the joys of late spring, Easter. I once read a poem which claimed that Christmas was for children, Easter for adults. The poet was referring to the betrayal, the politics, the violence of Christ's passion. In truth, I admit to skipping over many of those bloody details with my small children. There will be time for them to experience all the ugliness of this world and come to love the Savior that stepped into our pain. But it is the joy of Easter which I believe is lost on young children because, thankfully, death is still abstract for them.
I am now of the age when the number of years ahead of me is very likely shorter than the number behind. Death is becoming a more familiar companion. I have lost a parent and grandparents in years gone by. Now friends are departing this world. Children are leaving the nest for foreign lands, and while I fully expect to welcome them home, I know that is not certain.
A few weeks ago Clara begged me to jump on the trampoline with her. Though such play is hard on my aging joints, I could not resist her charming pleas. We jumped in the warm sun and laughed and sang. She insisted on the singing. "What shall we sing?" I asked. "Oh death!" she cried. And so we sang at the top of our lungs.
Oh death, where is your sting?
Oh hell, where is your victory
Oh Church, come stand in the light
Our God is not dead, He is alive, He is alive!
We sang the song over and over again, and the more we sang, the more it felt like the triumphant taunt that Paul intended. When at last my lungs gave out, I returned indoors and took up my kitchen work. Immediately I remembered my friend Caryn who had died just a few weeks before, and I remembered her son James who had been stillborn. With a clarity that was almost vision, I realized that Caryn spent this Easter with her son for the first time, and she was full of joy.
This Easter I rejoice in fact that there is absolutely no possibility that I shall never see my son or my daughter or my grandchild again. "I shall see them with my own eyes, I and not another," because our Lord's love is stronger than death, more relentless than the grave. There is no danger, no tragedy that can take that joy from me. Or the joy of being reunited with parents and grandparents, only in a much deeper love than we have ever know. I will meet Simeon and Anna, Francis and Clare. I will embrace nieces, nephews and godchildren who never saw the light of this earth, and the joy of that day will be great. The older I grow the more tangible this hope becomes. Truly, Easter is for the adults.