Easter Reflections

Easter stirs so many emotions for me. It seems my reflections are intricately woven with the events of Jesus' last week on earth.

As I approach Holy Week, I feel myself drawn to Gethsemane. It is a place of protest, you know, where Jesus went to ask the Father to let this cup of death pass from him. I have stood among the old olive trees in Gethsemane on a trip to Israel in 1997. The year before, I quite literally found myself begging God to let the cup of death pass over our family. I have laid a precious life in the lap of Abba Father and uttered the words,"Not my will but yours be done," as I learn to trust Him with the pain.

As I awake on Good Friday, I find myself identifying with the sorrow of Mary, whose son's life is slipping away as he hangs before her on the cross. And yet I find comfort in the words Jesus speaks to her in John 19:26, 27. He sees her tears, and looking down from the cross, he meets her in the form of her need, to fill the deep void created in her mother's heart.

When Jesus saw his mother

and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby,

he said to his mother,

"Woman, behold, your son!"

Then he said to the disciple,

"Behold, your mother!"

And from that hour

the disciple took her to his own home.

And then the hope of Easter comes upon me. I realize the power of the resurrection to bring a glorious reunion with those who have gone before. I recognize the promise of Jesus to his disciples as he taught them about his Kingdom that would be ushered in by his death. Jesus tells his disciples in John 16:22, 23 ~

You have sorrow now, but I will see you again,

and your hearts will rejoice,

and no one will take your joy from you.

In that day you will ask nothing of me.

My Easter reflections always take me back to a Garden in Jerusalem, where I stooped to enter an

empty

tomb. I praise Him for the promise of resurrection, the hope of reunion, and the Kingdom where he will . . .

. . .

wipe away every tear from their eyes,

and death shall be no more,

neither shall there be mourning,

nor crying, nor pain anymore,

for the former things have passed away.

Revelation 21:4

Redecorating the Future with the Past

Scott loved tools from a very young age and to build something with his hands was his ultimate form of play. If there was a job to be done, and he could use his tools, he would beg to do it. If he stayed home from school sick, I knew he would complete some "fix it" job around the house while I was at work.

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During his sophomore year, Scott was very excited to help Dayn, his youth pastor, remodel the old barn our church used as its youth center. It turned out to be one of his last projects before his fatal accident.

When Scott died two months later, the youth group decided to rename the barn,

Scotty's Place

. It was a thoughtful way to remember Scott and also acknowledge the

hole

left in their midst by his absence.

Age and weather eventually took its toll on the old barn, and it became a safety hazard. The leaders of the church told us about the situation a few years ago, and graciously asked for our input. From a logical position, a decision was not hard to make; the building could not remain standing if it could collapse on someone. But from an emotional perspective, the choice to demolish it was complicated; Scotty's Place would be no more. We gave our vote to have the old barn taken down, but we asked to keep some of the old window frames as a memory of Scott and his work on the place.

The day for demolition finally came. Just before the bulldozer moved in, some friends gently removed three window frames from the sides of the old barn. Then, in a matter of minutes, we watched as Scotty's Place became a pile of rubble.

We recently did some painting and redecorating in our house. (Scott would have loved to be there - especially pulling the old built-in bookcase out of the wall!) We gave a fresh coat of paint to one of the window frames from Scotty's Place and decided it looked great as an accent piece hanging by our dining room table.

Like the youth group, there will always be

Scotty's Place

in our hearts and home. Now, there is a window in our home; to provide a glimpse of the past and to remind us to focus on the future, when we will experience a blessed reunion one day.