The encounter was years ago. But I will never forget it. This sweet young mom, so painfully disabled. She had made her way over to thank me after a talk I had given—her body twisted, her face aglow. My immediate reaction was overwhelming joy. Yes! This is exactly what we pray that Mom to Mom will be: a conduit for God’s love to flow through to the hearts and souls of our beloved moms.
But as I write on this Maundy Thursday 2018, a question stalks my joy. I know—I really believe—that Easter changes everything. But I live in a world that, for the most part, doesn’t really get this. Some of my friends are cynics, others simply struggling questioners. They look at me with disbelief. Or at least confusion. Or maybe even envy. But how is it you can still believe this, Linda? We’ve just shared our “prayer requests.” And it seems not much has changed. At least, not for the better. “What do you mean, it changes everything?”
I know the theological answers. Fallen man. Sin. Sacrifice. Forgiveness. Redemption. Eternity with God. All because of Easter. YES! Thanks to the home in which I grew up, the Christian education I have had, and the Lord Whom I serve, my head knows the answers.
But I want to tell you how my heart responds. Of course I can’t tell you all that is in my heart. That would take a lifetime. Or, at least the rest of my life. But here are two things that my heart has been hearing this Lenten season. And especially this Holy Week.
First, we have a suffering God. A God Who watched His own Son, His only son, die. A God Who gave up His own life. A God Who gets it. Suffering. Pain. Abandonment. Unspeakable sorrow. Ongoing loss. And a God who not only was “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” He knows what it is to weep. At the tomb of a dear friend. Over a beloved city that is so very lost. And, here’s the big “it changes everything”: He weeps with us.
The song from Rend Collective keeps going through my head: “Weep with Me.” The lyrics say it better than I can, so I hope you will listen. In the midst of our lament and even our questioning, we know our God sees us, hears us, and weeps with us. He can even turn our lament into a love song.
But here’s the even better thing: This weeping God is not only that. He is the Almighty God. Bigger than any of our questions. Even bigger than our current suffering. Job found that out, and so can we. He sees the bigger picture. He has conquered death. And because of Him, because of Easter, so can we.
Another song, a new release from Andrew Peterson, is echoing through my heart continually: “Is He Worthy?” Yes, the world is broken. Yes, the current creation groans. But . . . a big “but”: The Lion of Judah Who conquered the grave holds forever those He loves. His Spirit reigns among us. And one day we will reign with Him. Again, the lyrics say it better. “Is it good that we remind ourselves of this? It is!”
So . . . does it really change everything? Both my head and my heart say YES! As you can tell, music really helps with the heart part, at least for me. It also helps with the hard part. The part that, for the here and now, in my very daily life, remains unchanged. My friends who grieve do not get their son back. Not right now. That sweet young mom is still disabled. A precious 12-year-old still fights for her life. My neighbor still has her brain tumor. Another is still losing her vision. And there are some things even the best doctors just can’t “fix.”
So what has changed? My perspective on all this. Because of Heaven. Because of Easter. Because, even in the midst of my lament, He weeps with me. And He will one day wipe every tear from my eyes. And yours.