Honestly. I’ve wondered a hundred times if it was selfish of us. If it was terrible timing. Selling their childhood home right out from under them and now they’re in college and feeling homeless. We should have our boys living with us now. Quarantining. But instead we’re the ones living with parents. It seems wrong. Like a loss. And yet. It’s perfect timing. For such a time as this, and it is. Yesterday Grammy must have taken two dozen phone calls, birthday wishes. Each time saying she’s doing really well, and so glad to have us here living here with them, just now. Pop says it too. Repeating his precious blessing. “We never had a daughter and now we do.” Goodness. God’s timing.
Yesterday, too, we started our day out at the lake, approving the location of our soon-to-be-house. We stood a safe social distance downhill from Scott, who’s doing our excavation. He talked about his family, a nine-month-old and a growing son, three-and-half—Daddy’s right-hand-man, helping to build a chicken coop back home. Scott talks about jobs falling through, two more this week, small business owners temporarily shut down because of COVID-19, not able to secure their construction loans. He says he’s sure glad we’re able to go ahead with our plans, sure glad to have this work. And I’m overwhelmed by unexpected emotion. Gratitude. Not so much for a house being built, but for the blessing of being able to provide jobs for daddies at just this time.
Earlier this week I made phone calls to church people, checking in to see how they’re doing. I’ve known Sandy for quite a while, and we chatted about one thing and another. She talked about her husband’s job, managing plumbers; the work is plentiful, but it does mean house calls, and she asks me to pray. She tells me too, how it’s been special, being quarantined with her own boys, teens, and she comments on the perfect timing. The season of Lent, and right now it’s as if the whole world is fasting. I tell her I’ve felt this, too. A stripping away of things non-essential. Joining the world in a common lament.
Grant talked, too, about the timing of Easter. Of course, no pastor would have planned it this way. My son records his worship music in a newly remodeled basement, newborn baby
asleep in a basket nearby. Easter. The one Sunday we’re all sure to show up for church, and there’s no question, it won’t be the same this year. Strangest Easter since the first one, maybe. Like Jesus’ disciples, we’re wondering, waiting. What’s going to happen? How in the world will this whole thing turn out? Grant’s wife, a photographer, small-business owner, weddings cancelling, into the summer. But my son says this, and he means it. How perfect it is. Kiana, too. Daddy at home with a toddler, and baby. Mommy, just now, cutting back on her work. God is providing. They don’t even question. Trusting his timing, and knowing it’s true.
It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming. Cliché for anyone acquainted with church. Resurrection follows death like spring follows winter. Of course, some years there’s snow for Easter—the forecast this year in Minnesota and Iowa, and Colorado, too. All my boys but one will have to endure one more poorly timed wintry blast. (Only Felipe is quarantined where it’s always summer.) And if we were the ones scheduling weather and Easter and a world pandemic, no doubt we might choose a different script.
But THIS SCRIPT. The one we’ve been given. The one we’re living. This Good News Story. Resurrection always follows the grave and beauty always comes from ashes. Life sprouts from the dirt as sure as the snow finally stops falling on Minnesota. In His Good Timing. We might be feeling Friday, but we know the story, and never again will we feel the grave like they did, waiting, that first Easter.
Sunday is coming, and this year we’ll gather, scattered, to retell the story, and remember together. Three days in the tomb, eternity on the throne, JESUS reigning, now and forever. Two millennia ago the One who refused to stay dead did away with death itself so we could live THIS DAY—this FRIDAY that feels like it will never end—in full assurance of his perfect timing. His perfect provision. FEELIN’ EASTER. Like never before.