The Thirtieth of April

What did you feel, Lord, when you came along and found me lying there in the shallow grave I hand dug for myself? Were you angered by the evil one chuckling there with my muddy shovel in his hand? He and I both smelled this death coming months ago and he had anticipated celebrating my funeral, finally confident in his victory. He saw you leap toward him over his shoulder as he bolted for cover.

Did you wince at the sight of the bloody smudge where my autobiographical eulogy was stapled to my chest? Could your eyes find the lies there in my obituary? Did you see all those slimy deceptions I heaped on myself until I suffocated under their weight? The shame, disapproval, and the loss of hope were heavier than the pile of dirt and gravel the devil had been so eager to scoop over me.

There were no folded hands or walnut casket, no piano playing Amazing Grace. Just filthy broken fingernails and scrabbled grass uprooted around the edges of my rut. I had tried so hard and failed to hang on to my tiny piece of earth.

She was standing there by my side, right where she had been all along. How had I lost sight of her there in the dark? You wept together over my open grave, your arms wrapped around her heaving shoulders and gasping lungs, her agonized tears falling in agreement with yours and intermingling in your beard. She heard you sing a quiet song of sorrow over this loss of life and love. My few friends stood by, each of you carrying one last time the burden of my failures.

What was your emotion as the old undefeated power began building within once more? Could you feel the voltage of your blood surging upward with every beat of your heart? What was the wattage of the sunlight burning in your heart for me? You never flinched as the lightning leapt from your outstretched hand and knocked me rolling from what should have been my final hiding hole. You laughed as the thunder shook the ground around us all and light exploded into a better day. Newborn hopes and ancient dreams blossomed instantly in soil recently tilled by my desperate fingers. Soft gray ashes rained down on the petals, fertilizer made from the strangling shame going up in smoke.

How can it be? Who is the God who boldly strides among the darkest tombs in the deepest night? Give way for this King of Glory strutting through the fading gravestones of the hopeless. Dance with him as he revels in bringing help to the helpless and light to the lost. His twin swords Love and Forgiveness are stained with the blood of shame and despair. The king has conquered death, defeated hell and has no fear in the dark. The victory has always been his and he will overcome. He is bringing new life again and again.

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die”


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