As a child, I remember the purple banners hanging up in the church in the weeks before Easter and people giving up bad habits for Lent. I would watch Jesus of Nazareth every year without fully comprehending what was unfolding on the screen. I squirmed as Jesus was whipped and nailed to the cross. As I became older, I had a difficult time with the violence and stopped watching movies based on His crucifixion. Today, my devotionals have led me to the crucifixion in God’s Word and what it means in my life. Admittedly, I become emotional when I read of His grief leading up to His arrest, the flogging and how the soldiers cast lots over His garments. It took the loss of my oldest son to fully comprehend the impact of the crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord on our lives today.
Jesus died so we could live. He took the guilt and sin of the world upon His shoulders because He loved us deeply and so we can enjoy eternal life with Him after we die. Until recently, I didn’t fully know the power and significance of His resurrection because I have been stuck on the crucifixion – not only His but my own. I have focused on the negative, on my mistakes and my past. I have resisted healing from my loss out of fear of forgetting Christian – the sound of his voice, his strength, kindness and how he made me laugh.
I began my Lenten journey with a booklet with a dragonfly on the front. It stated Be Ye Transformed on the front. I have learned that Lent isn’t just a waiting period from Ash Wednesday to Easter. It is a period of metamorphosis – of letting go of negativity and false beliefs so we can receive the Truth and fully come to know the love of God.
“Just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4)
When we went to the cemetery to visit our boy today, it was sunny and we could hear western meadowlarks in the distance. A chickadee, which happened to be one of Christian’s favorite birds, landed in the tree next to us and sang a bit. As the sun warmed my face, I thought of Christian in heaven, with his favorite animals by his side, sitting in a mountain meadow surrounded by mountains surpassing any of ours in beauty and size. I didn’t shed any tears until a woman drove up to visit a grave across from ours. The age of the young man buried there isn’t far off from Christians. I cried as I watched her approach the headstone and kneel in front of it. “I know” I thought as we drove away, leaving her some privacy.
One of my favorite scriptures is John 10:10, when Jesus said “I came that they may have life, and have it to the full.” What does it mean to have a full life? It means greeting each day with gratitude and ending our “I AM” with powerful, positive words. It means fully accepting and enjoying ourselves, opening our hearts to God’s abundance and never giving up.