Saturday, April 12, 2014

Easter Week Came Early

This past week… you know, the week that came directly after family-fun, dream-come-true, sister-son-bliss week… was intense.

I’m sitting in the new morning’s sun after a sleepless night, reflecting on a week full of life and death. Easter week is approaching, yet it feels like I lived it last week.

People I love lost loved ones, and a little girl I love passed away.
A mother shakes and breaks, and is unable to care for her babies because she went off her HIV medication.
Orphans try to raise children, and their lack of parenting becomes painfully obvious as a cycle continues.
Predators come boldly in the daylight to the homes and lives of the disabled to steal, kill and destroy.
Violence and alcoholism wound the beloved and endanger innocent lives.
Jealousy and rivalry break spirits and come to defeat bright futures and favor.

And that’s just with the people I encounter on a regular weekly basis.

In those moments, too overwhelming to shed a tear, I wonder how deep can death go? When do cycles stop swirling and burrowing further? How far does broken reach, and when will it ever stop?

But, you know what?

In that same week, sprinkled perfectly throughout what seemed like a death cycle, were Life-sprouts. New things budding, blooming and bursting.

A mother who had given up on life called us family, smiled a real smile, and became a part of something that can’t be broken on this earth.

A young lady whose heart beats for God’s hope in her community had a breakthrough, and is ready to start making a difference with wisdom and integrity.

A dancing GoGo smothered us with biscuits, kisses and family Truth.

Two women bared their most-beautiful hearts to us, and committed to pursuing Him and His people with the most amazing love.

A new Ladies Time was born with a promise to come together every week for tea, cookies, and open hearts for discipleship and prayer.

A queen was called out of her despairing circumstances and crowned with beauty and Truth.

A new business, Tweenz Car Wash, was officially started with an investment contract, a business plan, a new vacuum cleaner, and the shiniest and most committed hearts ever.

And we ended the week by throwing the party of the year to bless the hands that toil, serve and give every week to serve feasts to the least of these. Our hearts were restored as they danced, rejoiced and experienced carefree, childlike joy for the first time ever. (You better believe this one’s going to deserve its own picture blog later. It was that good.)

In the same homes, churches, yards and communities where dark and heavy swirls crept in like a thief in the night this week, Everlasting Love was breaking through with Glory-Light that will end dark nights forever.

He was pierced, punctured, wounded, killed and buried because of those death swirls and sorrow cycles.

That dark day shook the earth.

But it didn’t last.

While that week looked like betraying disciples, grieving mothers and plundering murders, a new thing was taking root in the unseen, forever places. The bottom was getting kicked out of death, and a stone was getting rolled out of an empty tomb.

That week, the first ever week of both death and Life, happened in a sequence of events. Days that are now named and call for extra church services to help us remember.

This week, it happened all together.

Life and death.
Things that are passing away, and things that are sprouting up for eternity.

After a week like that, I have to sit in this new morning sun and choose to see with Easter eyes.

Eyes that swell with tears from a Savior’s suffering and from all of the broken parts. And eyes that see first, through all that swelling, what is not there… No one is in that tomb and death has not won.

New things are taking root.

Dancing is replacing mourning. Life overcomes death’s swirls every day and in every moment – Easter week is every week.

Our Easter view all week
“Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” 
Psalm 30:5b

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