Easter, which we celebrated a month ago, has been a common topic in my counseling office lately. Perhaps it’s because any holiday that involves the gathering of families inevitably becomes a topic with one’s therapist. Whatever the reason, Easter has been on our minds.
Truthfully, I can’t say that I mind one bit. I love Easter. I love everything about it. I love the flowers and the newness in the air. I love that everyone’s wardrobe tends to display the one or two pieces of pastels they have, even if they don’t normally wear a lot of color. I love that the empty tomb means that we have the promise of a future that will not be tear-stained and wrought with death.
We are a resurrection people. And I love that. With every breath and bone in me, I love that.
I worry, though, that we tend to rush to the resurrection. I am concerned that in our mad dash to Sunday, we completely skip through the very real despair, death and silence of the days prior. I can’t help but wonder what the implications are for viewing and living into our own stories if we do not adopt a practice of lingering in Thursday, Friday and Saturday. If, in our own storylines of despair, death and silence, we pressure ourselves to rush to resurrection, I wonder what injustices we do to ourselves—what injustices we do to the cross.
I see client after client in my office, exhausted with trying not to enter the tombs of their story. They are terrified to go in for fear of never leaving. They are terrified of the darkness in their stories. They are terrified of what they may find.
At any given moment, you may find yourself at any point in the Easter story.
Perhaps you are at the beginning of the story. You are on Thursday night and sweating blood as you beg God to take this story away, begging Him to intervene. Or maybe you are on Friday dealing with the death of the future you anticipated for yourself and your family. Perhaps you are on Saturday and are feeling the darkness and the silence of the tomb, wondering if this darkness will ever leave you, wondering if the seeming silence and separation will last forever, wondering if you will ever see the light of day again. Or maybe you are in a season of Sunday. A season where you are experiencing first hand the wonder and mystery of resurrection and new life.
Wherever you find yourself, be completely there. You will not be there forever. I promise. If there is death in your story, let it die. Feel it, and feel it fully. Do not be afraid to go into the tomb. Find a guide. Go into your tomb with a therapist or a pastor or a friend—or ideally all three, but go in You will not be left there. If you allow yourself to grieve, if you allow yourself to weep, you will not weep forever. You will not weep forever.
We are a resurrection people.
And your Easter is coming.