Have you ever spent time in a contemporary art gallery? While the levels of creativity are off the charts in many of them, you will often find art that people are not meant to enjoy. Some artists desire for the person experiencing their art to feel uneasy. In those cases, an artist desires to stir up challenge within the viewer. You might desire to look away or to ignore that exhibit, but it might be worth the risk to stay and wrestle with why you might be uncomfortable.
Similarly, in life, we do not like dealing with difficulties. Sadly, in our world today, most of us desire always to look on the bright side of life. When we think about our desires and wants, most of us do not ask for challenges and difficulties. That would be crazy to ask for those things, right? We desperately want life to happy, enjoyable and filled with fluffy bunnies and unicorns. However, we all know that that is not reality. Reality might include those things (except the unicorns), but it is also filled with hardships and difficulty.
On Good Friday, Christians put their focus on Jesus dying on the cross. What did it mean? Why did it happen? What is the result of such a horrible event? Many people do not even want to talk about death in our society. Try bringing up death in a conversation among friends and see if they ask you to stop talking about it. "You are being so morbid," they might point out. Why must death be such a forbidden topic?
When can we talk about life's hardships, pain and even death? Life – and death – happens. The finality of death can take your breath away.
So many have words of comfort that only seem to make the verdict all that more brutal. Are they truly 'better off' or 'for the best'? The anger that you feel as you look at the freshly turned ground seems to feel otherwise.
"Darkness, mistakes, and trials are the supreme teachers. Success really teaches you nothing;
it just feels good."
- Fr. Richard Rohr
God does not cause these things to occur, but desires to go through them with us. If we as a society keep ignoring hardship, pain and death, we will continue to live a life of disappointed ignorance. Then, when we feel the pain of difficulties in this life, we cannot meet them with grace, peace and respect.
Often, life's hardships are the greatest and most effective ways of learning. God blesses us when we understand that the pain in our lives can be (with a little bit of internal and external listening to God) transformed into a blessing. Not all blessings are easy to come by, and in fact, probably most come with scars. Scars serve as reminders that life was difficult, but there is life on the other side of the pain.
In the midst of the pain and the loss. The tears and the grave is a paradox. What was final is simply not final. The grave is empty. Death has indeed lost it's sting.
What if the myths are true?
THAT, is why the day death died is called "good".
Amazingly, we find Easter inside the cross!
On Good Friday, why not look deeper within your own brokenness and search for the "good" in your life? You are beautiful – not despite your scars, but because of them. Be blessed this Good Friday. May you find the beauty with all of who you are.