Midweek Musings

Easter, 2022

A friend of mine once told me the story about a colleague of his who had, years ago, reached a very low point in his life. He thought his ministry was over, his marriage was over, even wondered whether or not his life was over. He was depressed and broken and in great despair. He decided that what he needed was time away from his church and family to try and pull himself together; so he took a leave of absence and went to Washington State to stay with a friend.

           When he arrived he learned that his friend had made a place for him to stay in the basement of his house. In these small living quarters there was a kitchen, a bathroom, a nice bedroom; and the minister was told by his friend that he could stay as long as he wanted and he would not be bothered. It seemed like the perfect set up for the troubled man.

           After he had been there a couple of days, it was late during the night and the minister had gone to bed. Suddenly, there was a loud knock on the door. “Jim,” the voice said, “Jim, get up! Get up! Come up from the basement!”

           Jim was startled by the voice and the alarmed message so he jumped up, threw on some clothes and hurried up the stairs from the basement to the first floor of the house and there stood his friend. “Come here,” he said. “You’ve got to see this!”

           Jim followed his friend as he led him outside. There he pointed upwards and there in the sky was the display of Aurora Borealis with the dancing stars and brilliant colors that broke open the darkness of the night. It was as nothing he had ever seen.

           Years later, as he was recalling this event to my friend, recalling this despairing time in his life, he said to him that he was never sure how it was that he was going to pull himself out of the funk he had fallen into. He said that it was on that night that he saw the Northern Lights that everything changed for him. He said, “You know, if I had never come up from the basement, I would have never seen the magnificent sky. I had to get out of bed, put on some clothes, and walk up the stairs. And that was when I found my hope!”

           This Holy Week, like all Holy Weeks we are led from the cross to the empty tomb, from death to life, from despair to hope. We honor and celebrate the gift of God’s grace shown to us through the miracle of the resurrected Christ. This celebration happens every year; but are you even watching? Are you paying attention? If you’re like me then so often we find ourselves stuck in the basement of sorrow and disappointment and bitterness and doubt, stuck in the things of this world. Easter reminds us of the hope that is fulfilled in Resurrection, the joy that comes in the morning.

           As you go through this week, may you lift your eyes from the things of this world and up to the Light of God’s love. This year, celebrate new life. Come up from the basement and see what God has done!

           You are the Light of the world!

A Good Friday Walk of the Cross is planned for Good Friday, April 15, 2022 at the Norbertine Abbey, Albuquerque, NM. For more information, click on the NMCC website: www.nmchurches.org. (Look under calendar page).