Friday, April 2, 2010

The Good Friday Quandry

This is an odd year in our household--the sorrow and grief of Good Friday juxtaposed with an expectant feeling (which to be quite honest is getting to be a feeling of "get him out!") of joyful anticipation...

And fear...

La Pieta continues to resonate.

When I served in the children's hospital it felt like the families I ministered to were trapped on Good Friday. They had all of the horror and grief without being able to see beyond to any joyful resurrection. The curtains of their hearts tore in two and the sun grew dark--as their children breathed their last. One essay I read at the time compared this loss to the loss of a limb--the pain of the moment of amputation would pass. But, life would go on with a sense of loss, the very real sense that you were missing something important. And, like an amputee living with phantom pain, the pain of losing a child would continue to haunt the parent.

La Pieta.

I want to rush through this part, this Good Friday. I don't want to think about the pain of death. I want to prepare my festive Easter garb without having to deal with the pain that comes first. I want the child without the uncertainty and pain of child birth. I want to rush through to holding my child in my arms (having every expectation of his health and safety--his diapers carefully folded, the lotion set out, his going home from the hospital outfit laid out across his dresser). I want the image of holding to be more nativity icon and less La Pieta. But, it is the same love that inspires both.

A strange Good Friday it is. But would/is any Good Friday any different?

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