Arise and shine, for your light has come… 

This week the excitement of Easter became almost unbearable, so we drove down the canyon and broke branches off the blossom burdened trees. Played that one song too many times and sat on the front steps of the only store to enjoy the sticky cold of the pop cans.

and the Glory of the Lord rises upon you.

I deep cleaned the pantry (mostly) and put dinner for the family-in-waiting in my oven. The kids tromp in full of dirt and naps and giggles. So I roll out the brown paper and they dump water and blues and greens all over it. We talk about the parting of the Red sea (briefly) and practice the questions. Fiona improves but gets all mixed up much to the delight of her brothers.

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See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples…

That night I read of Jesus in the Garden and his plea for mercy, and when I read the words Lewis penned my heart broke just a little more,

“[…] You see what this involves? Lest any trial incident to humanity should be lacking, the torments of hope – of suspense, anxiety – were at the last moment loosed upon Him – the supposed possibility that, after all, He might, He just conceivably might, be spared the supreme horror. There was precedent. Isaac had been spared: he too at the last moment, he also against all apparent probability. It was not quite impossible . . . “

To know that Jesus hoped.

He hoped

maybe

just maybe

this cup of severance might pass from Him

And that He knew

too

that it would not. 

DSC_0503DSC_0777DSC_0538But the Lord rises upon you and His Glory appears over you.

So when the Friday morning broke and the time came to pray I felt the weight a little deeper. The weight of all of the sadness and joys mixed in together, of a mother (and everyone) waiting patiently for the boy she thought she would be able to hold Easter morning, the sorrow that he isn’t here yet, the joy that she might be able to keep him safe just a little longer. Of the son waiting for his mom to pass and the joy knowing she will pass into eternity. Of confidant believers waiting on the strangers in their midst to walk through church doors, hopeful they might know God, joy that God knows them. Of all the knowns and unknowns and hopes in between.

Reminders of God fulfilling our prayers before we utter the words, not just moments before, but centuries. Before all time and eternity God heard and answered.

“Love’s as warm as tears,
Love is tears:
Pressure within the brain,
Tension at the throat,
Deluge, weeks of rain,
Haystacks afloat,
Featureless seas between
Hedges, where once was green”

And Opi bows her head with us and doesn’t utter a word through the hour of petitions, and I come to understand that in her precious heart of hearts she too knows, and hopes with us.

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Nations will come to your light and kings to the brightness of your dawn…

We paint, iron, wash, prepare, pour, chop, set, move, and fold all of our excitement and love and memories into the Passover dinner. Rose and I drive to the laundromat to dump my weeks (months) worth of dirt into machines, pick up a few last minute items and vote for Thai food.

Noah earned it, mostly by being amazing and putting up with my random panics. Which, I will have you know that I only panicked twice (officially).

Mom, Abby and Patrick pull in an hour before, road weary and slightly green around the edges.
I realized as I assigned tasks that I don’t know how to let people help, or maybe that I created tasks too specific to me so I can’t let people help.

Note to self: STOP.

“Love’s as fierce as fire,
Love is fire:
All sorts–Infernal heat
Clinkered with greed and pride,
Lyric desire, sharp-sweet,
Laughing, even when denied,
And that empyreal flame
Whence all loves came.

Love’s as fresh as spring,
Love is spring:
Bird-song in the air,
Cool smells in a wood,
Whispering “Dare! Dare!”
To sap, to blood,
Telling “Ease, safety, rest,
Are good; not best.”

But, somehow, in the end it all comes together, the house fills with people who make it feel more like home to me and around the table sits family, young and old, friends, old and renewed. We pour the first glass of wine and begin. Only to be interrupted.

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Interrupted by life.

By children laughing and spilling.

By elbow jostling and sibling bickering.

By things forgotten that need to turned on or off or brought to the table.

By accidentally deleted sentences and wisecracks from the witty.

Pointed looks and toys removed.

Coloring pages added.

Crackers crumbled,

Wine spilled,

Apologetic whispers,

Baby Ruth passed over and back again, chortling over all the extra attention.

Interrupted by death.

When all becomes quiet for the reading of the crucifixion story the interruptions just become reminders of our legacy. The Joy that we’ve obtained.

In those reminders we see our interrupted moments become glorified.

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Coffee is added in the end to fuel the conversations and Abby reads of the woman God anointed to interrupt Moses, to teach him and nag him as only a big sister could. To remind him in the end of a God who promised.

And I get to look around the table and be happy that God chose me.

“Love’s as hard as nails,
Love is nails:
Blunt, thick, hammered through
The medial nerves of One
Who, having made us, knew
The thing He had done,
Seeing (what all that is)
Our cross, and His.”

-C.S.Lewis

[…] then you will look and be radiant, and your heart will throb and swell with Joy.
Isaiah 60: 1-5

 

(Also, all photo cred belongs to 11 year old Patrick who has really figured out my beast of a camera and made me super proud 😉

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