As fond as I am of a good plan, I rarely have one for Good Friday. It is a day in which I am prone to wander and allow my soul to lead me through the day. I have, in the past, stood people up and disappointed them because I am prone to wander on days like this. I have been late to meals, late getting home, disappear when I am expected to appear. I wander. My heart breaks. I stand at the doorway of life, and death, and meaning. I am humble and grateful to be turned and tossed in the waves of emotion. I have sketched, I have worshipped, I have prayed, I have walked, I have sat in stillness.
I wander through this day. But, I am not lost.
Today, I left the work I planned to do and followed the lead of my daughter who wanted to visit the botanical garden. I walked quietly, reflecting on the magnitude of life and loss that bursts through the divine-human connection on this day. I thought of Mary, of Jesus, of followers suddenly scattered both in fear of safety and in the sudden recognition of doubt. Death does that. It cuts into our presumptive world and knocks us into the unknown. When I revisit the crucifixion narrative, it is that human reality which speaks. Jesus the human is brutally killed. Jesus the human forgives, even in his agony. Jesus the human severs relationships, says good-bye, relinquishes ties to earthly life. Jesus, the human, invites brokenness into his lived experience. All of this: lavish, unconditional, undeserving gifts of love that Divine-Human Jesus freely bestows on us. On me. How can I possibly receive that.
Today, I wandered after my daughter, following her lead to walk through the gardens together, taking in spring’s emergence. We stood on a pier, feeling the sway of movement beneath our feet. The world around was still. It approached three o’clock. She was photographing turtles. I was wandering in a world of spirit, lost in the devastingly beautiful heartbreak of divine love. The wind shifted, the sky darkened. I was seeing with my eyes and my soul. I was wandering in the depths of divine relationship.
It was on a Good Friday that I wandered unexpectedly into my first encounters with mortality, rejection, and the shakiness of abandoning my path. Those encounters were deeply human, life altering, and deeply mine. Today, nearly two decades later, my own life is richer because of my learning from these encounters. Today, the heartbreak of Good Friday was most palpable as I heard, echoing in the stillness: For you. For all of you.
It’s hard to fathom the kind of Love that wraps around wandering souls, that knows no bounds of time or space. It’s hard to sink into the belief that we cannot wander from the depths and breadth of that Love. Even the most vile, hateful acts that we inflict on each other cannot extinguish that Love. Love breaks us open, and creates abundance. Love multiplies. Love transforms. Love resurrects.
All who wander are loved. Beloved.
Good Friday is a heartbreaking story of Love.