between afternoon and dawn

Once, each day, this moment comes, and morning with all its promise crosses silently into afternoon, and begins the day’s quiet movement toward completion. When the pale light of afternoon cuts into the freshness of morning, releasing the mind into the reveries of completion. When the dawn reclaims iteself from the night, and that thin crease of distant gray illumination breaks forth into the multihued promise of another day.

To catch these cusps of the spirit is to live our days in holy mindfulness, and to sense, in some distant reflection, the shadow of the mind of God.

The fresh light of promise has turned to the afterglow of resolution, and my heart turns ever so slightly toward thoughts of home.

~ Kent Nerburn, Small Graces

My mind seems to be caught between the anticipation of the dawn and the lurking fear of the dark shadows. Between the heaviness and consequences of the past and the excitement and wholeness of the future. Between death and resurrection.

Holy week – the transformative week between the arrival of Christ, with much pomp and circumstance – the betrayal of His faithful and most trusted friends and colleagues – the cruelty and seemingly finality of his death, hanging on a cross – but then culminating in the joyous thrill of His ability to counteract science and rules, coming back to life for…for us.

I find myself equally shamed and deeply grateful.

When I read the above quote (not in reference to Easter at all), I couldn’t help but mold it around my thoughts this week. We are entering into the quietness of His death. The shock and mourning for what we did not expect. Just like they did in Jesus’ day, our expectations are to win. Good triumphs evil.

Yet how many times do we stand, utterly dumb-founded that what we were SURE to be a certainty slips through our fingers? We thought the answer was clear and obvious. But instead, something happened and everything shifted, leaving us completely confused and with more questions than we initially thought we would ever conceive.

It must be how Christ’s followers – friends and family – must have felt. They believed. They stood up for Him. They went to bat for Him. They gladly displayed their “My god is bigger than your god” bumperstickers.

And then He wasn’t.
It didn’t appear.
They came after Him, lied about Him, and the courts bought it!
And now,
He was just dead.

I can’t imagine the disappointment.
Oh wait, yes I can.
That mind-blowing inflating of the spirit.
Total disbelief in what I was watching and experiencing.

The long shadows of the afternoon.

After letting the reality of His death settle in for a few days, how ecstatic must they have felt when the orange hues of dawn began cutting through the sky – the word reaching them that He was nowhere to be found!

His grave was empty!

I’ve got to tell you, my mind would be in conspiracy overload! Right? Who took him? That crazy OTHER political party HAD to have been behind this. How low can another person go to desecrate another’s body by stealing it from it’s grave?!

Yet slowly, His teachings began sinking in.
He told us this would happen.

He said He would have to leave us for awhile.

And what was that other part? Peter?!, what was that final part that Christ was always saying? I can’t remember it! I can’t recall.

Oh yes,
He said He would be back for us.

That He wasn’t leaving us permanently.

For us to hang on to the faith that He would return again, in much grander fashion.

I’ve got to tell others.
Gotta let them know.
They can’t miss this party!

He will return!

Dawn will break through the night.
Morning, is just around the corner…


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