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Don’t Forget About Friday

May 25, 2011

If there is any Evangelical Eastertide phrase that bugs me most it is, “Friday’s here, but Sunday’s coming.”  It’s as if to say, don’t focus on the crucifixion, and simply look ahead to resurrection day.  Odd that I am even thinking of that line so many weeks past Easter, but I was at a Baccalaureate ceremony this past weekend where one of the speakers spoke those words.  My shoulders instantly tightened upon hearing it.  They crept up closer to my ears and I felt my teeth beginning to grind.  In the grander scheme of their Baccalaureate address it was a minor little saying, but it hit a nerve with me as I sat and reflected.  Why are we so desperate to push “Friday” away?  Why must we rush past the pain to get to the relief? What if I want to just sit and recognize the agony of my Fridays?

I love that we Christians feel we must make a purpose out of everything.  Whether it be good or bad, no matter what, “God has a plan.”  I have come to love and abhor this phrase in equal measure.  Many times I have observed this phrase in action.  My friend’s parents got divorced last year, but fear not, God had a plan.  My mom’s friend lost her little girl at five years old from Leukemia, but yet we say, God has a plan.  I wasted many years by loving someone who never loved me back, but somehow, I’m supposed to see God’s hand in that.  My friend hesitates before going inside his church because he is gay, and as he sits crying, he wonders if God has ordained this moment.  Is there a purpose yet to be discovered?

It’s not the phrase itself that bothers me.  In fact, most of the time I believe the phrase to be true.  What bothers me is the same thing that makes my shoulders stiffen at the mention of “Sunday’s coming.”  It’s the idea that we are supposed to push past our Fridays.  Push away the pain, move out of the despair, get down off the cross and celebrate that something glorious is about to happen.  As wonderful as that sounds, I wish we would all stop expecting it of one another.  I wish we would all stop this witch hunt for purpose and meaning and light because sometimes, sometimes it is just not there to be seen.  Jesus allowed 3 long days of agonizing grief for his disciples before revealing himself, so why are we so quick to “get through” those days in our own lives?

I came home from work today and cried.  I cried for circumstances I can’t change.  I cried for circumstances I can change, but am not brave enough to face.  I cried for problems I can’t fix.  I cried for the pain of others, and for the pain of myself.  I shut my blinds, put my feet up, and just sat in the paralyzing truth that I am living in a Friday.  And Sunday is nowhere in sight, but so what?  Isn’t that what makes the crucifixion the most human moment of Jesus’ life?  Isn’t clinging desperately to faith without any knowledge of “God’s greater plan” what it’s all about?  Isn’t faith strongest when it can persevere through the storm?  If I recall the story correctly, Jesus himself came up and calmed the storm the night the disciples were stuck in their boat.  He showed up walking on water.  The disciples did not survive that night by telling each other to find comfort in the fact that “God had a plan.”  They freaked out.  And then God showed up for himself.

I am not, by any means, trying to do away with the hope and the joy that Christians cling to.  And by no means am I saying that we should stop spreading that encouragement.  It is a good joy and a good hope to have.  I am merely suggesting that we don’t brush off the Fridays.  That we don’t force each other away from the reality of pain.  I am simply hoping we allow ourselves to feel what we feel, when we need to feel it.  I need to feel what is going on right now.  I need to weep.  I need to ache.  I need to wrestle with situations where I cannot see God’s hand.  I need the freedom to say that I see no purpose at all.  And I need that to be okay.  Discovering that purpose might come when it comes, but then again, it might not.  Some purposes are reserved for God alone to understand.

I thought I was crazy today for feeling this way, but then stumbled upon a Jane Hirshfield poem.  I will leave it below.  And if you can relate, dear reader, to Jane, or to me, allow yourself to sit with the reality of your Friday.  It’s okay if Sunday doesn’t come for a little while.

“To Hear the Falling World”
Only if I move my arm a certain way,
it comes back.
Or the way the light bends in the trees
this time of year,
so a scrap of sorrow, like a bird, lights on the heart.
I carry this in my body, seed
in an unswept corner, husk-encowled and seeming safe.
But they guard me, these small pains,
from growing sure
of myself and perhaps forgetting.
~ Jane Hirshfield ~
(Of Gravity & Angel)
3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 25, 2011 8:42 pm

    Sweet Lauren, you have put in to words the pangs I [and probably so many others] am experiencing in my heart and life right now, too. Know that you are in my prayers as you weep, as you struggle, as you ache. Know that you are not alone.

  2. Jess permalink
    May 27, 2011 6:31 am

    LOVE this post LP. So true and honest.

  3. Alli permalink
    June 2, 2011 9:09 am

    Lauren – you inspire me. You are so honest and it’s so refreshing. Thank you for putting into words what I cannot express myself. You have been given an unbelievable gift and I am grateful.

    Life, as you know, is difficult for me right now. Lots of things going on, lots of things beyond what I have recently talked to you about. But my cousin put up a Facebook status the other day that I think fits perfectly with staying in our Fridays:
    “We go through life calling some things a blessing, others a curse….. I wonder if one day we’ll find out sometimes we had it backwards.”

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