The Great Pause
Every week since March 14th I have thought...
"I'm going to have so much time to write."
"Let me make a plan, create a timeline, and get started."
"I'll be able to crank out a blog every week."
As an introvert, I thought I would not only savor working from home during this pandemic, but I assumed I would thrive. Longer reading & coffee time in the morning, afternoon runs in the park, and wearing the same sweatpants for 2-3 days in a row (maybe 4). More time with my dogs, my hubby, and my Bible. Less pretenses, busyness, and laundry.
A dream, right?
Here I am, 28 days later dragging my sluggish, sad self to the desk and forcing the collection of what has been taking place in my mind to take shape. It seems as if someone handed me a blank page and said, "Color this, but stay within the lines. Make it radiant, but only use shades of gray. Create a masterpiece, but close your eyes."
I realized I prefer the lines and boundaries that life presents. I appreciate all the hues and tones of a sunrise, a crowded grocery store, and a faint rainbow even after a dreary day. I treasure certainty and clarity and foresight. All of which came to an abrupt end mid-March 2020.
Friends started to get sick. Government leaders warned of impending disruption. Corona became more than a beer. The call went out to work, worship, and worry from home. Toilet paper was scarce and people were scared. Everything came to a crashing halt.
The Great Pause.
That term was used in an article I read today. Ironic... today. The day between Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday.
Not much is written in the Bible about the Saturday after the darkest day in history. Guards are placed at the tomb due to leaders being afraid and Pilate being annoyed. We hear nothing from the disciples or the women since it is Sabbath - which means "to rest from work". Or... pause.
Unlike the disciples at that time, we are able to look back at Jesus' death with resurrection on the horizon. We appreciate Good Friday because we anticipate Easter. However, the friends and family of Jesus were not privy to the next chapter. They assumed the finale had been penned. Their teacher, friend, and Messiah had walked to Golgotha only to succumb to darkness and death.
Or so they thought.
There were no strong outlines or vibrant colors. There was no foresight or insight or hindsight. A bare and bloody cross remained in silence and solitude as Saturday emerged.
Resemblances to what we've all encountered in some form or fashion over the last month. Confusion, shock, anxiety, and fear. Loss, anger, exhaustion, and grief. Feeling helpless and hopeless.
But God... we do have a hope in the midst of the pause. We have witnessed throughout history rescue and redemption. We have experienced both the best of times and the worst of times - at the same time. We have the next chapter.
Sunday is coming.
But not only Sunday... Jesus appeared to his friends and family for at least forty days [Acts 1:3]. He ate dinner with them [Luke 24:40-42], cooked breakfast for them [John 21:1-14], and encouraged them to share the good news [Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 16:15, Acts 1:8]. Jesus is also alive and active Monday through Saturday. On Easter and beyond. In the midst of this pandemic and after.
Today is Saturday, April 11th, 2020.
A pause in-between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. An interruption of our normal routines to assess a global crisis. A time to ponder, protect, provide, and pray for the needs of our neighbors alongside humanity, as a whole. In this Great Pause - while we wait for permission, a cure, a blessing, or a resolution - don't forget we know the end of the story. His name is Jesus.