Saturday, April 19, 2014

Waiting for Sunday

You’d think I’d be used to this heart flip-flop by now – three years of Lifa coming and going. And more than four years immersed in a foreign culture, extreme circumstances, and people coming and going… coming and going.

Some days I can celebrate the beautiful Kingdom-esqueness of it all. (Just let that be a real word today.)
Some days I can laugh at the crazy moments, awkward culture rubs, and the sheer ridiculousness of so many parts of daily life.

But on this Saturday I could not.

I burned through pages in a journal with words that you probably shouldn’t use when you pray. I unearthed the depths of my own depravity, and was horrified by how deep it really goes. I shook my spiritual fist and my gel pen at the Maker of the heavens and earth and asked Him, “HOW!?!”

HOW could you know all of this….
All of me… and all of what’s happening around me…

I shook, and I scolded Sovereignty.

How could YOU expect this, KNOW this… and come? Come and DIE for it?

I just let Saturday’s restless, disappointed storm spew out of my spiky depths.

Because nothing felt right. Nothing lined up. Nothing was ok on this Saturday morning.

Because there are cousins’ babies with new bunnies and new Easter dresses in Texas.

Tomorrow, there will be sugar-covered grins smeared on the faces of so many children I love from afar – the children my children were supposed to grow up with. My American church will come together in beautiful worship and rich teaching in a language and culture I understand.

Today, I woke up in an empty cottage in a country where it’s not safe to go to the communities on holiday weekends. My African church doesn’t even meet on Easter Sunday. And… during the 4 ½ minutes my coffee brewed in the French press, a spider had time to weave a web around it… such is life in the cottage.

I didn’t expect to spend my Saturday Sabbath exasperated and embittered.

My mind wandered to this same Saturday Sabbath over 2,000 years ago.

On a restless, disappointed Saturday a long time ago, they cried too. Nothing was turning out the way it was supposed to.

Hope had just died on a cross, and the whole earth shook with the greatest letdown in human history.

The people who gave up everything to intertwine their lives with his were disappointed. 
Peter screwed up everything in the last moments… What was his Saturday morning like? How bitter were his tears?

But Saturday eventually ended.

While Friday shook the world and the people with disappointment that the Savior had really died, Sunday proved that it was our expectations that had to die so the King of Kings and Lord of Lords could surpass them, liberate us, and bring us Home.

Saturday is ending soon on this side of the world. 
And I can’t wait for Sunday.

I’m praying for a Sunday like that Sunday.
I need Easter deep down inside of me.

Last week, we threw the BEST PARTY EVER. This is no exaggeration.
It was an Easter party for the local volunteers who work hard every week to feed hundreds of children during our After-School Program. The whole idea of the party was to impart carefree, childlike joy to them, so they could give it to our children.  None of them had ever experienced any kind of children’s party or celebration, so we did it all.

In the midst of a photo booth, ribbon dancers, giant beach ball volleyball, sugar-overload, Easter egg hunt, and a triple-layer cake, real Easter happened. The women who came from life stories and lifestyles of disappointment, restlessness, and continual death, experienced freedom and joy.

They never knew the plans we had for that day, but they came ready to soak up every second of it because they knew it was for their good. They knew it was because we loved them.

I’m asking for that kind of Easter. 

Tomorrow, I don’t want to wake up with Saturday's angry questions and broken heart. 
Tomorrow, I won’t be the one planning the party, hiding the surprises, setting the table, or orchestrating the love lavishing.

Tomorrow is the day where His plans take the lead, and we take our place at the party. 
Tomorrow is Easter.

Father, let us awaken on Easter Sunday and immediately feel the beauty of the robe of righteousness and the garments of praise you clothe us in. 
Give us the morning smile of royalty - betrothed and belonging to the King of Kings.

Fill us with  laughter, celebration and joy in the things that are big and the things that are silly.
Renew us with joy in this world.

Let us dance in freedom and in victory.

 Sunday's dance.

Renew our youth so that we run after you with abandonment.

So we laugh at your surprises.

Let us seek you until we find you.

And celebrate every treasure and surprise along the way. 

Let us taste and see that you are good. That there's more than what we expected when we look inside. 

Their faces when they saw THIS...
It's better than what we expected. Let us be awed, overwhelmed and giddy by what You have prepared for us, Banquet-Preparer, Family-Gatherer, Life-Redeemer.

Yes, that's right. Our sister creation: A multi-colored coconut covered TRIPLE cake.
That's three different kinds of cake stacked in secret on top of each other
and covered with sugary frosting and coconut. PARTY in your mouth.

Thank you for that Friday I'll never understand, the Saturday where my expectations died, and the Sunday that You rose again and changed everything. Thank you for new things. Beautiful things. Amen.

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