Today, Agape is closed. Don’t worry- we are still feeding the horses. But, otherwise today is dedicated to remembering and dwelling on what this season is all about. So what is it about?
On Sunday, we will gather and celebrate Christ’s resurrection. We may have egg hunts, egg paintings, meals with loved ones – it will be a day of hope and thankfulness. Yes, we are a Hallelujah people, and redemption is our song.
this is what keeps repeating in my heart and mind…..
wreckage always comes before resurrection.
Maybe this is because in many ways I feel like I am in a season of wreckage where grieving, lament, and sorrow are feelings I have become well acquainted with. I have been learning how to be present with my sorrow but also present with others in theirs. How to just sit right down in the big ‘ole pain puddle and just be in it.
When our riders and families experience tragedy and challenges that engulf them, or a volunteer loses a loved one and battles feelings of deep loss, or a family’s world is turned upside down and they feel alone in a pile of memories from “what once was” and now is a pile of ruins – wreckage. These are times when brokenness hovers like a dark cloud and looms larger than the beauty of hope. And I want to be someone who can be present in the wreckage and the ruins and stop fooling myself into thinking that I can make it better if I dress grief up and slap a pretty bow on it. Shame on me for cheapening redemption by rushing through parts of the story that are painful to get to Sunday. Sunday is only so, so sweet because of what came before it!
Before Jesus was handed over to Pilate, he went to a secluded place in the garden of Gethsemane and weeped. Matthew 26:38 reads, “Then he [Jesus] said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.”
Please do not rush to the empty tomb and gloss over the agony of the cross. Or forget the weeping and sorrow in the garden. A sorrow so overwhelming that it felt like death. I urge you to slow down and soak in the sorrow. Sit right down in it.
There is hope, joy, peace and life. There is much to celebrate and much to be thankful for. Redemption is our song, but it is only because of the agony Christ bore for us. Resurrection requires wreckage.
Ann Voskamp says it so beautifully and so I will leave you with her words to meditate on today. But one more thing – this week we completed our re-accreditation as a Premier Accredited Center with PATH Intl. While we have much celebrating to do, we also know that we would not have made it this far without the support of so many through the years and much hardship overcome. It has been 3 decades of grit and grace. And so to our Agape family of riders, volunteers, donors, and staff – we thank you, we are with you, and we love you.
“He has touched our tears. He has cupped our broken hearts with His scars. He has whispered to the howl, ‘I know, I know. And I’ve come to begin the making of all things new.’
We get that experience of God when He stretches open His arms on that Cross and cries,
‘For you. For all your regrets and for all your impossibles,
for all that will never be and for all that once was,
for all that you can’t make right and for all that you got wrong,
for your Judas failures and your Peter denials and your Lazarus griefs,
I offer to take the nails, the sharp edge of everything, and offer you Myself because I want you, to take you,
you in your wild grief,
you in your anger and your disappointment and your wounds and your not-yet-there,
you, just as you are, not some improved version of you, but you –
I came for you, to hold you, to carry you, to literally save you.”