The Three Longest Nights

In our day of binge-watching entire seasons of our favorite tv shows and virtually limitless on-demand entertainment options, three days and three nights of silence and fear and hiding is next to impossible to really comprehend. But I suggest to you that, even in a starkly slower time, the followers of Jesus found those three days and nights between Jesus’ burial and resurrection to last for what seemed like years.

[Side note: I realize that our tradition is to observe Good Friday as the day of the week of Jesus’ crucifixion and the resurrection on Easter Sunday. I also recognize that Jesus said that it would be three days and three nights. The whole discussion is a matter for another context.]

For three days and nights the disciples were trying to wrap their heads and hearts around the notion that Jesus simply was not who they thought him to be. No doubt they lay sleepless in the dark night wonder how they could misunderstand, why things had gone the way they had, and were the soldiers coming for them next?

The fear and uncertainty mingled powerfully with the pure grief that came with the loss of this man who was a friend like none they had ever known – the One who had fed thousands through the very hands of these who now stayed hidden behind locked doors. The hope that less than a week before had moved them to spread their cloaks on the ground as a makeshift carpet and shout with the joyous, “Hosanna,” had vanished.

But, come Sunday morning, everything was seen to be different than it seemed.

In these hard days and gut-wrenching nights, could we have the spiritual gumption to step back and look beyond our heartache to see the certainty of what is surely to be? Can we, through the eyes of faith embrace the hope built entirely on the very nature of the One who proved His love and faithfulness through the cross and the empty tomb?

In the assurance of His promise, even the longest nights are a temporary trouble.

But Still…I’m Sorry

I’ve never considered myself a racist.

I could give you the list of evidences of my lack of racism…but the very fact that I could construct a list would probably be more of an indictment than an exoneration. And the evidence of racism in me would probably be much more about what I have not done rather than what I have done.

I haven’t gone out of my way to get acquainted with and learn from people of different heritage than mine. I haven’t cultivated relationships with people that have a vastly different American experience than my own. It’s not that I have avoided them…I just haven’t pursued them.

I haven’t made Sunday mornings the most segregated moments in our society. But still…I’m sorry.

I have been involved in a conversation today that has stirred up some things in me – mostly sorrow over the ways I have failed my neighbors by failing to take steps to make things better. Continue reading But Still…I’m Sorry

A Long Way Home

I’m a very long way from home – farther than I have ever been.

Tori and I came to Honduras to spend time with our kids from whom we have been separated since we put them on a plane about 8 months ago. That’s a long time to be separated from your kids – especially for a family like ours that, in most every case, simply loves to be together.

This morning our 3 youngest boys are driving, with some assistance from a friend and brother that simply wouldn’t have it any other way, the 3+ hours to be with the huge extended family that is gathering to remember our dear Grandma Lois. And, as much as we have longed to come and spend time with these precious ones in Honduras, our hearts are a little torn at the separation from the rest of the family.

It’s not unlike the painful separation we felt when Mickey was in Honduras battling dengue fever and we just wanted to be here to help take care of him and hold Jessica up and all that we could possibly do in a moment like that. But we couldn’t get here.

Continue reading A Long Way Home