Authenticity,  Christianity,  Self Awareness

Messy Goodness

Those who know me know that I lead a life with many hats. Depending on the day, I might be wearing my chronic illness hat, or my special needs Mom hat, or my preacher hat, etc… I like hats, apparently. At the time of writing this, it is Good Friday. For those of us in the Christian community, this is the day we remember Jesus’ death on the cross.

You can find this story in a few books, but I like the writings of Luke best. The story of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection begins in Luke 22. This is the play by play, friends… but I challenge you to read this, envisioning yourself in the midst of it. In one day, Jesus endured betrayal, being arrested, beaten, determined to be more guilty than an renowned criminal. He was then handed over to walk a significant length, beside the cross he would die on. Then he was nailed to that cross where he suffered, dying slowly, between two criminals, while loved ones looked on.

Objectively speaking… Jesus had a bad day, y’all. That is certainly not how I would describe a “good day.” So why do we call this a Good Friday? I read an article earlier today about the various possibilities of how this commemorative day’s name evolved. They make a point that I want to share with you today… Good doesn’t always mean “Happy.”

So back to my hats… this article is a little bit of everything. I am having a season (said in my most exasperated voice.) I have been in an exhausting health flair up since July last fall, but really I’ve been unwell for a while. It’s interesting to look back at those earlier days and remember my whining. (Side bar: It’s ok for me to call it whining, but in the name of empathy, let’s both agree that it’s not that simple.) I am raising children with learning differences and special needs. I have an infant. I am in a young marriage. I am remodeling my house; and I am sick. This season, this ongoing challenge and climb, has taught me something new about “goodness:” It’s not always pretty.

I do what I can to use my hats to reach people: I want to connect and extend hope to hurting and misunderstood people. It begins with acknowledging the hat. It begins with recognizing that I’m struggling. While I am reflecting on my struggle, on my messy middle, I find goodness. Sometimes our “tomb time” is a lot longer than WE planned, or even imagined… our wait, our cocoon, our journey has taken some turns. We look around and we don’t recognize our surroundings as “good.”

But God.

You and I? We will probably always have trouble in this area. So God, being the Good Father that He is, will get in your way. He will send a whale to get you, as we saw with the story of Jonah. We get in our own ways of recognizing goodness and He looks on, whispering “hold on… Sunday’s coming.”

Today, rethink God’s goodness… it may not be wrapped in a bow, it may not look like the lap of luxury… it might just be a messiah, wrapped in grave clothes… buried in a tomb… waiting for Sunday.

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