“Good Friday only works for me because of Easter. Good Friday’s exquisite pain is exquisite only because it will end, will be redeemed.”
For most of my life, the tender, sorrowful laments of Holy Week, more than the joyous, triumphant hymns of Easter, have attracted me and spoken to me. I must identify more closely with quiet, waiting suffering than with victorious, trumpeting, bursting forth.
Why is this? I don’t think, overall, that I’m melancholic or depressed. I’m not a pessimist, nor do I believe the worst or expect the least of people. I’m more Disney than Dawn of the Dead. I’m all over innocence and play and love as the greatest of underlying realities. So why Good Friday over Easter?
Good Friday only works for me because of Easter. Good Friday’s exquisite pain is exquisite only because it will end, will be redeemed, will be meaningful, even if at the moment that can’t be seen.
So it’s not the pain of despair. A despairing Good Friday would be unbearable. That would be Bad Friday.
What makes Good Friday good, of course, is love, is Love, the willing sacrifice for the good of others. It is giving up, releasing, suffering, denying so others may have life, find joy, be accepted, come home, be healed.
That, I guess, is what speaks to me about Good Friday. While Easter says, “We won,” Good Friday says, “You are loved ridiculously, extravagently, unreasonably.” I’ll take love over victory.
Follow Dirk and his daily poetry and photos at The 60-Second Sabbath. Image by Dirk deVries. All rights reserved.