Today we ate hot cross buns for breakfast (salted caramel and chocolate chip) and I wondered if this is as close as I can get to recognising the cross this year. Do I feel brave enough to go to church tonight in the midst of this deconstruction? When I’m not sure what I think and how I feel about so much of this core story. Reconsidering the things I’ve been taught and pondering other perspectives can make my seat in church feel uncomfortable.
Last week on Palm Sunday we were asked how we were welcoming Jesus in our lives. My head is all a muddle and I’m not sure how inviting it is. But then I remembered that Jesus spoke a lot about welcoming the stranger and the outsider, and in some small way I know I can play my part in that. Somehow my body and actions are perhaps living out my faith in a way my internal world is struggling to.
This week last year was marked by the death and life of two beautiful babies. One of our boy’s first friends suddenly died in her sleep aged 7 months. Another friend’s baby was born prematurely and battled through her first few weeks. She celebrated her first birthday yesterday. I’m so grateful for her, and still a wee bit broken for my mama friend who lost her firstborn. Glennon Doyle Melton’s word ‘Brutiful’ does express something of the paradox of life*.
Easter weekend is also a paradox, death and life both marked within a few days. There are words that make me cringe and want to distance myself: sin, death, atonement. But then there is resurrection, new life, hope. Spring. I can get behind the message that there is hope for justice and peace and whole life.
On Sunday morning we’ll walk up a local hill and celebrate Easter amongst different denominations and hopefully some Scottish sunshine. Maybe we’ll sing ‘Morning has Broken’ as we clasp our song sheets. I’ll think of the snowy Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve) over 7 years ago when Paul asked me to marry him in that very spot. I had no idea then the journey our life would take.
I remember walking up the hill that day, knowing what was coming and finally feeling sure. Feeling sure that yes, this was the direction I wanted to walk in, and this was the person I wanted to walk with (I still think I made a good choice). I feel like I’m at a similar point now. I want to keep walking. Not to walk blindly, ignoring doubts and questions. But to walk and to trust the process, leaning into the questions. When I said yes to Paul all those years ago, I didn’t know all that was to come. Now it feels like I’m saying yes to questioning faith, and the result might not look like I expected it to, or how I’ve been taught, but there’s freedom to explore and dwell in the mystery. I’m saying yes to facing the hurt in the world, and believing that it won’t last forever. I’m saying yes to believing that Love does win.
* “Most days I decide to show up, because I was right when I was little. Life is brutal. But it’s also beautiful. Brutiful, I call it. Life’s brutal and beautiful are woven together so tightly that they can’t be separated. Reject the brutal, reject the beauty. So now I embrace both, and I live well and hard and real.” – from Meet Glennon.