My friend became a grandmother yesterday. She was hoping the baby would come on that day because it was her father’s birthday. I was touched by this because her relationship with her father wasn’t always what it should have been, to put it mildly. But God redeems. The baby came on his birthday which happened to be Maundy Thursday. His name means “at the cross.” Beautiful.
It got me thinking this Good Friday about some significant things that have happened on this day. Good Friday 1979 I lost my beloved Grandma. I grieved but the hardest part honestly was watching my Mom grieve. And my sweet Grandpa – we never thought he’d be the one to outlive her and he was so unprepared because she had taken such good care of him.
My uncle and his family shared a duplex with them and he worked hard to help them remain independent and to maintain their dignity toward the end of their lives. He decided when Grandma got sick to set up breakfast for them at night so that all Grandpa had to do in the morning was plug in the coffee pot and drop in the toast. The first morning, Grandpa put the electric percolator on the stove burner and turned it on. The things you don’t think to explain…
Fast-forward to Good Friday 2008 when I woke in the hospital with a tube from nose to stomach and a huge incision just beginning to heal. Crazy set of circumstances, but it began the most interesting Easter season I’ve ever experienced. The scent of lilies and other spring flowers still reminds me of the hospital room that was so filled with flowers that it made everybody sneeze. It also reminds me of the time I had that Easter season to consider all that really matters.
Then came Good Friday 2012. We were just back from a vacation in Eastern Europe less than a week. A Texas thunderstorm had blown through with a vengeance on the Wednesday. We had a hail-totaled car in the garage and a tarp over the skylight. Every tree in the neighborhood had a pile of “salad” underneath where the hail had stripped the new leaves.
I watched the storm roll through on the radar from Bonnie’s hospital bed, where she’d been for 7 weeks trying to hold out as long as possible to give birth to our first 2 grandchildren. We had family spread all over town and I called them all to make sure everyone took shelter while the 2 of us sat up in the bed.
Friday morning I did something I NEVER do. I asked Lindsey to trim the back of my hair because it was just wonky. Halfway through the trim the phone rang and it was Bonnie – on the way into surgery! I took my life in my hands and made him finish and then we took off for the hospital. Jimin had a whole plan in place to get to the hospital from school, but they foiled her plans and came on a school holiday!
Words cannot describe these people who are about to turn 3. Danger – you’re about to get wrapped around some little fingers…
Like I said, God redeems. “This is the kind of life you’ve been invited into, the kind of life Christ lived. He suffered everything that came his way so you would know that it could be done, and also know how to do it, step-by-step.
“He never did one thing wrong, not once said anything amiss.
“They called him every name in the book and he said nothing back. He suffered in silence, content to let God set things right. He used his servant body to carry our sins to the Cross so we could be rid of sin, free to live the right way. His wounds became your healing. You were lost sheep with no idea who you were or where you were going. Now you’re named and kept for good by the Shepherd of your souls.” (1 Peter 2:21-25 Message)
I grieve for the people of Kenya today. I thank God that he gave me the miracle of time there with his precious people last summer. The Good Fridays of my life remind me of the joy and pain we all experience. How thankful I am that “our momentary, light suffering is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison because we are not looking at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen. For what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.” (2 Cor. 4:17-18 NASB)