For Friday, called good.

(Part of a post first published April 22, 2011)

crossThere is a luxury in historical hindsight, an ability to see the lessons without going through the event. And it is that hindsight that named this morning “Good”. In real time, on the ground in Jerusalem, there was nothing good about spittle mixed with blood. There was nothing good about a suicidal man, remorse-ridden. There was nothing good about a group of people accepting guilt–and that momentary statement being used as the justification for generations of atrocities.

In the moment, the pain was excruciating. Had to be. Abandonment. Rejection. Nails. In the moment, there was little energy for discerning the lessons. Jesus was not working on a three point sermon, 10 lessons for a happy Good Friday,  quick fashion lessons from the suffering savior (“a seamless tunic should be in everyone’s closet.”) No trite summaries. No cute sayings for surviving in the middle of trials (“It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming.”) Not even a neatly tied up blog post with some nice moral.

Just raw pain. And in the middle of it, forgiveness.

“God. How awful.”


2 thoughts on “For Friday, called good.

  1. Bill Hanifin

    “God gives peace at moments that make no sense”. This comes from page 96 of Jon’s book “Lent for Non-Lent People”.

    I’ve been reading this book throughout Lent this year and, as usual, Jon seeds multiple pearls of wisdom throughout his work. In this case, he saved some of the best for last and his essay “How I gave up coffee” at the end of the book struck me between the eyes (and in the heart).

    We are working through end-of-life issues with a family member at present and I found incredible solace in reading the tail end of Jon’s book. Thanks for teaching “remotely” and giving us tools to work with to bring that “peace that surpasses all understanding” into our home.

    Happy Easter.


    1. Jon Swanson

      Thanks Bill! Happy Easter to you. And I’m sorry that you are having to walk through this pain. On Easter, there is a both/and. Christ is risen AND there is pain and loss still. I pray that you will know God’s presence in this walk. >


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