My mom, being an adult who gets to make her own choices, decided not to go to Good Friday service at church. It's too depressing. It's like going to the same funeral every year. It's horrific, all the torture and anguish and death.
This morning I told my husband, as we were getting ready to go. He agreed. "Yeah, every year, Jesus keeps getting killed!"
I read the book, I know how it ends.
Well, we can look forward to the part 2 of the ending, when everything is all beams of light, but today… sadness.
To which my response is… "Well I'm already depressed." What's the worst that can happen, right?
I'm glad I went. As I've been going through this last bout of depression, I have noticed, with great relief, that I haven't felt alone. I feel God's presence, which sounds strange considering how bad it was, but it's true. And I've felt the care of my church family.
I haven't been to church much since last fall. There were a lot of Sundays that I needed to be lying down, like I was every other morning. And there were a lot of Sundays when I couldn't face anybody. It's not that I didn't want to see them, I just couldn't handle it, all the emotions, all the explanations. I needed quiet, and stuck to a very small circle of people, occasionally letting one more person in at a time depending on how strong I was feeling at the time. Through all of that, I am absolutely sure that I could feel the prayers. What an amazing feeling.
Mennonites didn't used to celebrate Lent, I guess because the idea was that we lived a pretty sparse life all the time. What would you give up? Well, I grew up with cars and a black and white TV and jeans. Somewhere along the line this thing called Lent crept into our worship services around the end of winter, just like the odd concept of Advent showed up at the beginning of winter. I haven't really adjusted to it, but I have to say, this year more than ever, I've relished the chance to really meditate on what it means to suffer.
So I went this morning, sat quietly, listened to the readings, read the hymns, and had a good think about how awful life can be, and how it could be worse, and that I'm not alone.
And the story doesn't end. It never ends. It never will end.