Saturday, March 26

The In Between Day

Christians all around the globe on this day are patiently waiting in certain expectation that the morrow, Easter Sunday, shall be the day we exuberantly celebrate our Lord Jesus Christ's resurrection from the earthly clutches of mortal death. But what about this day? What does this in between day offer us in the way of an inspiring lesson on how we are to live our lives once the sunset of Easter Sunday has come to pass? 

I awoke on this in between day with that question on my mind. In particular I began to contemplate by placing myself among the remaining eleven disciples who had the day before witnessed the horrific death of their beloved leader, hanging limp from the cross, his body no longer in agony from the relentless beatings that had torn his sinless skin to bloody shreds, and I asked myself what were these faithful, but impressionable eleven men thinking and feeling on this their in between day?

What would I think or feel or say to my fellow brothers huddled in that darkened room? Would any words at all be exchanged? Would the air hang heavy with the over-powering sense of hopelessness and resignation, where only silence among the eleven would rule the agonizing slow passing of the minutes as each considered individually; "How can this be? We had such hope for the future with this man! Where do we go from here? Where do I go from here?"

Even though we eleven men had gladly followed this kind and gentle man for the past three years, listening to his profound teachings and watching in still questioning amazement as he performed acts of kindness and signs of wonders that surely, we agreed, marked this man as unique and "Yes!" undoubtedly divinely inspired. Yet, this special man spoke so often metaphorically in his teachings to us of things as they are and things yet to come to pass, our finite minds did not see, nor could they fully grasp the true and certain meaning of his prophetic words of promise and assurance.  We still being but mortal men, our eyes that witnessed the miracles that he performed even then did not attest to our full understanding of who indeed he really was. So, on this in between day we sit in quite and uneasy contemplative silence, lost in our own confusing thoughts, not knowing and perhaps not caring what our lives were to be from this day forward. 

But this in between day passed and the morrow of another day of lingering sorrow broke equally unpromising with the rising of the new sun. Into the room rushed Mary Magdalene, having just come from the burial cave where Jesus' remains had been laid, to breathlessly announce that Jesus was missing from the tomb! The room, which had just moments before been a den of continuing sorrow, erupted into a cacophony of discordant and confused emotions!  "What did she say!?!  Could this be!?! Where could he be!?!  "Who would be so evil as to break into a sealed tomb and steal a body!? What must we do now,  if anything!?" 

The continuing story is so easily familiar to us, as we who know and proclaim on the day after the in between day that our Lord had indeed risen from the dead and that he would make this revelation a reality to all his brother disciples as he miraculously appeared before them in the upper room, and even unto a late arriving doubting Thomas.  

So, what are we to do about each of our in between days."  It comes to my mind and heart that on this God created sphere that is hurdling through time and space that there are untold thousands of souls who themselves are trapped in their own in between days, who have lost all sense of self and purpose, who have encountered personal set-backs or tragedies that render them emotionally traumatized and paralyzed to go forward. Who ask, "What now? Where do I go from here? Is there to be for me no answer to my longings for better days?" We know the assurance and the promise of bright and better days to come because we have come from a dark place called Calvary, through the in between day, and have stood in reverent awe and thanksgiving on Easter-morn to declare that our hope lies not in ourselves, but in loving grace of our Heavenly Father who sacrificed his beloved son on a cross to die that we may live joyfully with hope now on this earth and forever after in the infinite days beyond mortal calculation. 

That is our challenge. To seek out those who know at this time only the in between days. To share with them the promise that there is hope for a better life as they journey toward their own end of life story.  They need not journey alone. We must not allow them to go forth alone. We hold the answer and the promise that they so desperately need to hear and apply in their lives. I am thankful for my in between days. For I know my in between days are the prelude to the joy that only my Lord can and does provide. You?