Today is Easter. I’m celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, believing that it actually happened and that it changes everything. I’m also aware that sometimes it feels more like that Saturday, when every human being thought Jesus was dead, and nothing seemed certain. It’s a strange mix for this glorious day.
Last year, Easter was exuberant and joyful, loud even, as my family rejoiced that a baby we thought had been lost was very much alive. This year, a child I love is facing loss he hasn’t even imagined yet, and I’m desperately hoping for years of resurrection for his heart and mind. This morning, I took B.C., my foster son, to be with part of his biological family for Easter. He’ll have a great time, and we’ll have a great time later at one of my family’s celebrations. Then we’ll come home and probably deal with what seems like the confusing transition between families for him. Tomorrow we’ll head back into our normal routine of school and work, bath time and reading stories, and every strategy known to boy for avoiding brushing one’s teeth.
Even as we do our normal daily things, slow movement is happening with B.C.’s “case.” Given the system, it could all turn out very differently than it appears now, but at least for now it looks like B.C. will end up with a new home with loving, safe, fun, stable family members, several hundred miles from here. I already love his family members — if we were neighbors, I think we’d be great friends. And yet…there’s always this “and yet”…I know that for B.C. to grow to be a part of that family, he will have to endure the shock of knowing he’s not going back to his old home. In addition to that, he won’t be staying in this home, where he has seemed to come to feel safe and secure. There will have to be these losses. Death — of what he knows and thinks and experiences every day — will precede resurrection.
The hopeful part of all of this is that I believe, that I know, that death always does precede resurrection. To wish away the loss for B.C. would be to wish away the coming good of life with two loving parents, and siblings, and dogs, plus an ongoing connection with his extended family, and…maybe…someday…the opportunity for healing reconnection with his biological parents. The anguished part recoils from seeing someone I love so much suffer so much. I’ve only been a parent for 6 months tomorrow, but this week I’ve wondered, how did Mary stand there and watch her Son hang there and suffer and die? How did God the Father watch His Son hang there and suffer and die? There is a dread of the loss that’s coming that completely takes my breath away. Most days it feels like Saturday more than Easter Sunday.
And yet…there’s a deeper “and yet”…what Saturday felt like to Mary, and John, and Peter, and all the rest, what “Saturday” feels like to me and what it will feel like to B.C., perhaps what it feels like to you if this is a somber Easter — all of that is the middle of the story. There are glimpses of a better end, of a glorious resurrection. Jesus said He would rise on the third day. Today, when I took B.C. to his family, one I’d never met hugged me, kissed my cheek, and said, “Thank you for taking care of my nephew.” He’s the dad of the one who may be B.C.’s second father. There is a sense of promise to the whole thing, and it takes my breath away just as much as the dread, if I pay attention to the reasons to hope. I don’t always choose rightly, but today I choose the promise. Amen.