After our last Good Friday service, I stood in the chancel moving chairs when a woman approached me with some news. She and I have had a close pastoral relationship. She knows me well and I know a good chunk of her story. A few weeks ago, I had visited with her son in crisis. He has PTSD. He was a Marine. My heart breaks for him -- even as he told me I was "bad ass." On Good Friday, his mom approached to tell me that he was in jail. He got in a bar fight and the cops followed him home. He's been in jail for three days and there is no certainty that he'll be released soon. Apparently, there was a charge hanging over his head that he had tried to avoid.
This morning, while testing mics, I listened to my colleague assure this same woman that there is Christ is risen and there is no pain or darkness. I understand the pastoral assurance that he's trying to offer -- but these are weak words even on Easter morning. The Resurrection reminds us that there can be hope -- not that there is always hope. Her son is still in jail. It's still a crap day no matter what the Gospel might be. For her, it's only a possibility. One day, there might be Resurrection. Maybe. That's the hope.
Resurrection always seems to come too soon for me. Maybe that's why I'm typing away 20 minutes before worship. I need to take my time. The stone in my stomach doesn't just roll away. It's still there. There is still hurt. There is hope. Indeed, but maybe not today.