a teardrop…a quiet reflection
how great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! and that is what we are!
1 John 3:1
it feels pretty good some days to have a child’s thoughts, dreams, hopes, compassion, and innocence .
it’s not often that i enjoy lavish love. the kind you don’t earn, but is being poured out and sloshed upon you to the point you don’t know how to respond. i say i don’t enjoy it, because i am too busy trying to figure out a way to earn something that i have been given freely. and if i can’t figure out how that works. then how in the world am i suppose to help my daughters to understand this love?
sometimes we make the story of jesus’ final hours so simple that it has no emotional impact. it’s just words about a man. but my daughter, bella has this thing. this relationship. this understanding about her savior that profound thoughts will continually unravel in her mind. ( she is so far ahead of me) she isn’t content to let her theology come to an easy resting place like most kids.
teacher: “Jesus went to the garden and prayed, he cried, he didn’t want to die. The soldiers came. They took Jesus….(yada yada yada what kids hear because they heard this story before)…He died on the cross for you.”
response of most kids, “yes. i know this about jesus.”
but bella has been wrestling with the idea of jesus in the garden talking to his father in his final hours and what was ultimately going to happen.
the thing i love about bella is she wears her emotions on her sleeve. (it runs on her mother’s side) belle is sensitive about the temporary things of this world and even more about the eternal. when encouraged sunday to create a picture response of how the story of jesus’ final hours made her feel she created a tear drop. “belle, why did you make a tear drop?” belle with tears in her eyes and a voice that seemed unsure to speak said,
“a teardrop can reflect sadness and joy.”
sadness in the pain of what jesus undertook for the world. the great amount of love he must have had to be the perfect, unblemished, sin-free sacrifice. the hurt of being rejected by people.
joy and happiness because he made a way for us to be together forever. my tear drop is eternity. a place with no tears just happiness.
i understand belle’s teardrop of sadness and joy because i experience the teardrop at christ church anglican’s maundy thursday services. the service marks the final moments of jesus with foot washing, communion, and a stripping of the alter. washing feet isn’t glamorous but i cry over every foot i wash. it’s such an intimate time to pray for people as you serve them in the lowliest way. as the service moves into communion the table of bread and wine is more than a ritual reminder. and the mood begins to change as the lights dim more and the chant of the psalm 22 reminds us how it was foretold jesus would be turned over. he would be silent. he would be beaten. as the words of the psalms tell the story the communion table is stripped of all it’s former glory. it’s stripped to nothing as the lights grow dimmer and dimmer. as the final words are chanted the red cloth that has been draped as a reminder over the cross is pulled down, dragged over the alter, and down the aisle pass the people. then nothing but blackness. and the longing to have light restored as we move towards good friday and easter.
may you take a moment to reflect on the journey of holy week. revisit the words that perhaps have awkwardly become so comfortable that perhaps your numb to them. may you find a place to worship this holy week that allows you to experience the love of our savior.