Our Lives Are Full of Holy Saturdays
Posted on March 31, 2013
“Our lives are full of Holy Saturday experiences.”
That phrase struck a chord with me as we sat in our church’s Holy Saturday service. The congregation was invited to stop and reflect on the space between Good Friday and Easter. The space between death and life, loss and hope.
It was meaningful as we sat in the darkness with all the lights off in the room. The contemplation was tangible as we listened to scripture read about Joseph wrapping the body of Jesus and placing him in the tomb.
In the midst of this, though, there was one sound that did invade the somber moment. It was the loud snoring of my daughter sleeping in my arms. She walked into the service earlier smiling, not at all able make sense of the quiet faces. When she realized there wasn’t going to be any playing or singing like our normal Sunday mornings, she leaned back into my chest and within seconds was fast asleep, snoring. I felt bad for a second, knowing my cute kid was disrupting this sacred time. I quickly embraced it, though, and was reminded that as much as I want space to grieve and want to teach my girls to make space for it, they can’t hide the life that just radiates out of them all the time.
This has been my consistent experience this weekend as I’ve tried to walk slowly through the whole Easter story. My kids have interrupted each day with insistent reminders that joy and life are coming on Sunday.
While we observed the Passover feast earlier this week wanting to remember Jesus’ last supper, there were my girls ready to usher in life again. When we dipped the parsley into the salt water to reflect on the tears of the oppressed in the world, both girls cheerfully told everyone that they really liked the taste of parsley and happily partook. They had no clue what it was meant to symbolize. They honestly just don’t have categories for sad things at this point in their stories. There is too much joy yet untempered in them. While I want them to understand sadness in their life, I don’t feel the need to speed up the process. The broken world will do that to us eventually. In the meantime, I let them eat their parsley while the moment passed them by in their innocence.
Now here I am Easter morning thinking about the last few days. Every day over the last four my girls have reminded me that life and joy can’t be pushed out of moments they exist in with us. I’m grateful for the snoring Holy Saturdays and irreverent Passover feasts. Their innocent inability to sit in the other parts of the Easter story are a gift from the Lord to them in this season, and I am thankful. I’m thankful that when we read the Easter story right now, they struggle to wait patiently for the empty tomb. Every time we near the ending they get giddy with excitement ready to cheer and yell out when they hear, “He isn’t here. He has risen!”. Their whole bodies are anxious to leap up with joy. Holding all that in for a few minutes is usually just too much for them, and it is beautiful to watch. I’m humbled by the truth that nothing has shattered that in their lives yet. As much as I wish it were, I know that’s not true for all children, and I don’t take that lightly.
So while I’m not naive enough to believe they will walk through all of life this unaware of sorrow, I’m also not eager to rush them into something God hasn’t brought into their short lives yet. So this Easter Sunday I’m rejoicing with my kids who couldn’t sit through Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, or Holy Saturday for more than a couple of seconds without reminding me and the world around them that life is just around the corner. And it is true. New life simply can’t stay hidden for long.