Dear God

I think Holy Week started one week too early.  I thought I was going to walk the way of the cross next week, and I’ve been planning for it for a very long time.  I have all the people in place, the liturgies written, and the hymns picked out.  The choir has been rehearsing and they sound great.  I thought there were only a few last minute details to attend to.  I thought there was lots of time to write my Easter sermon.
I wasn’t ready for Holy Week to come so soon.  I wasn’t ready for phone calls from grieving family members and funeral directors.  I wasn’t prepared for calls from ICU nurses telling me I need to come as soon as possible.  None of this—the death, sadness, or griefwas supposed to happen until next week. 
Maybe it’s why I burst into tears after someone from church called with one more question and I couldn’t—just couldn’t—answer it, and I was short with her.  Maybe it’s why on Sunday afternoon I slept on the couch and my perpetually busy almost-two-year-old quietly sat with me and let me rest, her little warm body nestled into mine.  Maybe it’s why my heart broke when a gentle man looked at me and said, “You have a pastoral heart,” and I thought it was the greatest compliment I’d received in a long time.  Maybe it’s why I feel so grateful, and humble, and sad.
Oh God, this has been a Holy Week.  Thank you for showing me Holy Week cannot be planned, just like the cross is not something we can set aside and take out when we feel like it.  We walk the way of the cross each day, falling to our knees as life takes our breath away.  Thank you for flooding me with humility as I realize sometimes it is all too much, and I have no choice but to let others help me and to rely on you. 
Thank you for reminding me the cross is not only a word of violence and death, but a word of joy and hope.  For only through the cross can we see your unconditional and passionate love for us.  Only through the cross can we realize you have walked our paths and know our sorrows.  Thank you for the holiness that can come out of difficult days.  Thank you for showing me that even the most careful plans do not give us security—that comes from you. 
Thank you for reminding me that every week is Holy Week, and Easter is coming soon.  
Amen.  May it be so.

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