Friday, April 22, 2011

The Wrappings of Love

It's been a looong time since Valentine's Day! The days have been so full of changes and challenges that I've hardly had a moment to think, and thinking is the essence of writing. Hence, no blog posts!

Today is Good Friday, though, and I have had some moments to reflect this morning. Uppermost on my mind is one of the odd things about love. Our depiction of love is usually "sweet" - relaxing and beautiful environments, that special someone with adoring eyes looking at us, and the joy of giving (love is about giving, after all!) in ways that bring us a great deal of satisfaction and pleasure. Sometimes love is experienced this way.

The aspect of love I'm pondering today though is the not-so-pleasant presentation of love -- intense suffering and paralyzing grief. So many people that I love are in the throes of suffering right now, and my heart breaks. My heart grieves. My mind reels and cries out for an end to it. I've had my own physical challenges as well, and it's hard to remember sometimes that I'm in the hands of a loving God.

Good Friday puts it in perspective, though. How bleak that day was for those who loved Jesus. How unbelievably difficult it was for Him as He anticipated it all in the Garden of Gethsemene. Yet, "for the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, despising the shame." (Hebrews 12:2b) That joy was the salvation of His people! That joy was life from death!

Love was wrapped up in bloody, sorrowful suffering and death. It was a gruesome sight, an utterly hopeless moment for those who loved Jesus that day. They couldn't see yet that the awful day was a prelude to the most glorious day in history - the resurrection!

I'm looking forward to the celebration of Christ's resurrection on Sunday. I'm also praying for faith to see the hand of love behind the sufferings of this present day. And, I'm giving thanks for the reminder of Good Friday.