Palm Sunday is an odd day for me. On one hand, I want to focus on Jesus. I want to meditate on the sacrifice of the perfect Lamb for me. I want to be in awe of the love that would give such an extravagant gift for one so undeserving.
However, my mind wanders. On Palm Sunday seven years ago, my dad went into the hospital...for the last time. He had been sick for some time. The last nine months had been very difficult. Multiple hospital stays, trips to the ER, and times of needing intense care spotted the calendar.
When I received the call from my mom that Dad was in the ER again and he was being admitted to the hospital, I went to be with them. I knew in my heart this was it. Our journey was done.
On Thursday of that week, my dad was released from the hospital. X-rays showed a mass, not pneumonia. A biopsy had been done, and we were waiting for the results.
We spent Easter with my parents. Dad sat in the sun, watched his small ground children hunt Lego blocks. In the wildness of the week, we never thought about eggs, so we improvised. He laughed a lot. I committed every moment to memory that I could. Treasures stored in the heart.
Late that afternoon, I took my children home. As much as I wanted to stay with Dad, I knew the little ones were tired and in need of rest.
In the late hours of Easter, Dad went home, too. As much as he wanted to stay with us, Jesus knew he was tired and in need of rest.
I suppose some might think my dad's passing on at Easter would diminish the day somehow, but on the contrary, it only makes it more special.
For me, Easter is not just about the salvation of my soul, although that is amazing beyond words. To me, Easter is about my dad breathing without struggling for air. It's about his being able to walk as far as he wants without chest pains, getting dizzy, or passing out.
Easter is about passing on the love of the Word my dad instilled in me to my children. Life continuing from generation to generation. It's morning coffee with the Dad of all time, sharing my heart, hearing His, and letting Him speak through me.
Easter is not just about what Jesus did 2000 years ago. It's about what He is doing now and what He wants to do.
It's life that changes sometimes in form, sometimes in place, but still goes on, and the hope that life can always be better here...and There.
And today I am filled with gratitude.
776. Jerry Dale Kelley--December 13, 1940 - April 21, 2003
777b. Top hats :-)
777. An empty tomb
778. Love that stayed on a cross
779. Doctors who do the best they can
781. Breathing without pain
782. No oxygen tanks are needed in Heaven
783. Amazing medical staff
784. Lego "eggs"
787. Precious memories
788. Stories that still bring laughter
789. Provision beyond my ability to fathom
791. Pictures and video
792. Life--here and There
793. Death--that makes me realize the power and blessing of life
794. Being able to tell people God is faithful, even when their hearts are broken
795. The Bible--The Greatest Love Story Ever Told
796. HUGE Easter Egg hunts at church
797. Matching dresses my mom made
798. Plastic eggs with a quarter in them
799. Dozens of boiled eggs dipped and colored turning from white orbs to rainbows
800. My grandma who didn't fuss about the Easter egg coloring mess
801. The reality of the resurrection in my life and my heart.
Yes, I stop and think about this week, what was done for me...what has been done IN me...the life given on a cross 2000 years ago so I can have life today and for eternity...and I am in awe...