Red Twin loved Easter. “He is risen!” she would say, her face shining, as she waited for the response, “He is risen indeed!” It’s the moment when mourning is turned into dancing.
But this Easter dancing does not come easily for me. The resurrection is what animates my hope that Red Twin is not lost to us, and that I will see her again, but I find my joy muted. Easter Sunday feels dim or backgrounded. My grief is too fresh. Easter Sunday’s hope is one I cling to by the barest of threads instead of it looming large and filling me.
But that thread, though tenuous, is an Easter thread.
Earlier this year I journaled this as I thought forward to moments like this:
Red Twin wanted nothing more than to keep serving Jesus in Central Asia. One of her great griefs of the last year or so has been that she was unable to return to there, even just one last time. It seems illogical to me that God would call her home just as she was hitting her stride in Central Asia, when she would have had so many more productive and fruitful years ahead of her. It doesn’t make sense.
And yet, the Christian faith, and Red Twin’s own hope, is built on an event that doesn’t make sense. Jesus, God made human, dying on a cross looks like a win for Satan, and yet it is the greatest victory of all, and the greatest outpouring of love in the history of the world. I believe the same is true here. Red Twin’s death is not Satan’s win. God is God, and I am not. I can only see a part of the picture he’s painting.
But I do understand this: just as killing Jesus was evil, we name this cancer as aberrant in God’s world. We know it’s evil because our brother Jesus rages at death too. His stomach churned as he stood by the graveside of his friend Lazarus, and he bellowed at what was lost and what was wrong. He gets it, and he grieves with us.
Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.