Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Life in the Week After Easter

When it comes to redemption, there is one constant that I've come to depend on.
It will never look the way I imagined it.

I know this from seeing it in the pages of Scripture, reading about it in the stories that stir my heart the most. God turns worlds upside down in the most surprising, unexpected ways.

Divine irony. 

However, when it comes to life before my own eyes, I am not easily satisfied with this. I want redemption on my terms, in the ways I've hoped and imagined. I want it to make sense and be free of uncertainty and void of messes. I don't want wounds to rip open at unexpected times; I don't want process, I want completion.

I'd rather God just swallow up the empty, broken spaces as if they never existed in the first place. But, when Jesus conquered the grave, he kept his scars. The marks of his humanity remained in his resurrected body. The insults, the schemes, the betrayal of friends that lead to the nails in his hands were still there.

I'm in awe of his humanness. The God that stripped himself of all his God-rights wasn't just born into lowliness and died a sinner's death but reigns as one who still bears the marks of his humanity. He is not detached or uncaring to the deepest hurts of this world. He understands. He puts broken pieces back together in ways that honor his artistry as Creator. He redeems; he doesn't erase. Maybe part of redemption is coming to terms with the deepest parts of our humanity, the places only we know and only God can go, and inviting him in to sit for a while and just be without needing to get to the next step.

Life becomes confusing when God offers redemption but we are unable to see it for the gift that it is because it's not necessarily redemption we've been looking for, it's our own way. We want an end, pretty picture without the strain of the middle. We miss the gifts right in front of us because we're looking at them all wrong.

I thank God for the hollow space between his death and resurrection; the cold unknown is a place that will always be familiar until this world is fully redeemed. More so, I thank God for the scars that remained after he raised Jesus from the grave, for a God that identifies with the pain of his creation as both God and man.