When I was a little girl, I never knew whether to be sad or happy on this day. The visuals and the story of the crucifixion did nothing to convince me it was a day to “rejoice” or be happy about. I was too young to comprehend ‘God’s love’ in connection with ‘sacrificing’ His son for a whole bunch of ‘sinners’ who would happily save a Barrabas and let an innocent, no less God’s son, hang on the cross. So I would try to tone down my play and general joviality in keeping with the solemnity of a death (and worse, a death that I too was somehow responsible for.) I just didn’t get it…any of it!
Then there was the three-hour long church service I’d go through playing with things my mother would make with her handkerchief to keep me engaged. I loved the kerchief mouse a lot! I made it hop and pounce all over and crawl under benches to retrieve it! And the little kerchief purse came next. And when I’d be exhausted and bored with this she’d have some snacks wrapped up and orange juice ready for me, and I’d munch my way through thirty more minutes! The next thing would be to curl up on the bench with my head in her lap and drop off to sleep. That was the spiritual part of my day. And that’s how it remained until I turned eight. From ten to fifteen, church-going became a sporadic exercise because we moved to the country and our church was about twenty-two miles away.
So it was only after I began going to church regularly, at sixteen, having returned to the city once again, that I began to understand a lot of what had gone over my head earlier.
Now, many of my non-Christians friends or acquaintances ask me why we call it “Good Friday” when our Lord was so cruelly crucified. They listen to the explanation and nod their heads as if they understand but I can see the confusion in their eyes. They just don’t get it. For myself – It’s enormous! This love and sacrifice… and often I wonder – “How?” I don’t see myself or the human race, worthy of such a huge sacrifice. God’s own son sent to die on a cross for my sins! I’m just zapped by the ginormous love God has for us, rather unworthy humans! Every year, come Good Friday, it comes into greater focus – this love divine, this love sublime.
Thank God we have a Good Friday!