We had a wonderful Easter weekend. Just about perfect. My children made it through the Maundy Thursday service at church, although my daughter did dump a bucket of cold water on my feet during the foot washing. I think my feet have finally recovered. We even had a great theological discussion on the car ride home.
Then Friday we shifted gears and drove up the highway to one of my favorite places on earth, Hedgerow Farms, AKA my brother and sister-in-law’s place. We bottle fed and fell in love with baby lambs. (You know I have a soft spot for orphans). We fished in the pond where mommy showed the kiddos how its done catching bream. Surprised? They were too.
We got back home in time for one of the most beautiful Easter days I can remember. The sky was so blue, the flowers so pretty, the weather just warm enough with a gentle breeze. We hunted eggs and and ate fried chicken and celebrated for hours with our church family.
It was almost perfect.
But that’s the thing about Easter. No matter how much I crave it and love it. And I truly, truly love the Hallelujas and Christ is Risens and Trampling Death by Death.
It is just not enough.
For still we are not in paradise.
Not Yet. No, Not Yet.
I woke up inexplicably sad and anxious this morning after fitful night’s sleep. Both my husband and I found ticks on ourselves after the fishing expedition which led to way too much obsession about Lyme disease on my part.
And a conversation I had with my sister-in-law was ringing in my ears. She was talking about how nice is was to walk through and explore the woods one more time before the timber rattlers came out. Yes, that’s right. One of my favorite places on earth is heavily populated with timber rattlers. The kind of snake that once it bites you, you die if you don’t get treatment in time. Not really the thought you want to have when you are back in the woods on a farm far away from town.
I know that Easter is good and beautiful and to be rejoiced in and that our world is for the most part good and lovely and to be rejoiced in.
But there is this part of me that longs for more. Aches for it deep in my bones.
I want so much to be in that place where, “The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. . . . . The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den. They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain.” (Isaiah 11:6-9)
I long for the day when I see a new heaven and a new earth. When the home of God will be among mortals and God will wipe every tear from our eyes. When death is no more, crying and pain is no more, for all these things will have passed away and God will make all things new. (Rev 21 paraphrased)
I don’t know why I long for this paradise so much, but I do. Almost as if I am homesick every day of my life. As if some part of me remembers the glory, glimpses it every once in a while in a shimmer in the wind.
And as beautiful as the lambs and trees and my family was on Easter,
I know it gets better.
Better in a way that we can scarcely imagine.
Better in a way that will take our breath away yet feel like we are truly taking a real breath for the first time.
So what do we do until the day when not yet turns into all things made new?
The best answer I can come up with is to be like the two guys walking on the road to Emmaus. We comfort each other in our sadness. We remember Jesus. Look for glimpses of him around us. Break the bread together and live as much as possible as he taught us. And then we get up again and keep walking that road. For as a wise man once said,