My Grandma. The one who pinched my nose between the bones of her fingers, smiling with eyes lit and gleaming. The one who called me Shuga’. The one whose tender love was often confused with weakness.
She carried Jesus in her heart and thin-spread, southern superstitions around her edges.
As a little girl who endlessly climbed her porch columns, I allowed most of her sayings to float gentle and breezy in the air around me, most landing soft on the ground below.
One floated in. Thirty years later I still pull her words out and unwrap them slowly. Maybe this one superstition rooted itself deep because I would always find it true.
Grandma always said every Good Friday afternoon clouds over.
She was right. It does.
Since my hair was worn in two bouncing pigtails, I’ve looked for the darkness of Good Friday. Not once in all the years—even on cloudless mornings—have the clouds ever failed to drift over the sun at some point in the afternoon.
As if nature still mourns the tragedy of the cross.
Yet sometimes, we must experience darkness to recognize Light.
Because for healing to come, the body of Christ had to be broken.
Because for Easter’s morning sunrise to break through the dark crack of night, the cross was required.
Because sometimes we have to understand the hollowness of a black-dark tomb before we can experience the light of a resurrection.
My Grandma knew about resurrection because she knew what it was like to be beaten down by the world. She knew her own black-dark tomb—the one that swallowed her whole.
But she met Jesus there.
That’s what Jesus does. He goes into our tombs, our dead places, and He meets us there.
He meets us
…in the grip of depression.
…when our jobs shatter us and we think I can’t do this one more day.
…in the ashes of a burned-out marriage.
…after addiction has stripped us from every fragment of love we ever had.
…when disease multiplies and eats through our bodies.
…in our anger.
…after our choices expose who we really are.
…when tragedy leaves us alone.
He meets us in the tomb.
He meets us there because our cries are often loudest when the pain is the deepest—echoing off the empty walls of our souls. He meets us in the tomb so He can show us a new day. And while that new day may not be on tomorrow’s horizon, it is on the horizon.
Because the stone-weight of our burdens can only be lifted and rolled away by the power of a Savior.
I look for the gloom of Good Friday. I look for the clouds. I look for them because in their strangeness, they remind me Heaven was only trapped deep in the tomb for so long. Our pain, our suffering, while it seems to be endless, will ease.
Darkness can cloud our souls. But it can’t stop the light from breaking through.
Nothing can stop light.
Light reminds me of the Hope Easter brings.
Because one day? The burdens we carry? They will find an eternal grave, and the Jesus we cling to will lead us out of our dark world, into Heaven’s light.
This girl? The porch climber with pigtails in her hair knows this Hope because her Grandma left a legacy of Good Friday clouds and Easter morning sunshine.
I’m praying this Easter weekend you discover the Hope of Christ in a way you’ve never known before. May His peace rest heavy on your soul. And if this Hope is still a mystery? May my Jesus use His willing people to share His Light with you.