There’s Good Friday and then there’s Easter. But what about that mysterious day in between? That day between the suffering and death on Friday, and resurrection and life on Easter. That liminal space between suffering and resurrection, death and life. The vast borderlands where we live most of our lives.
Holy Saturday invites us explore that space in-between. I don’t know about you, but I find that the essence of the human condition is letting go of people or securities and wondering what will emerge from the ashes of my life. It’s that delicate balance between loss and hope that much of our lives are lived.
When I was growing up, my grandparents had a small cabin on the ridge in Pacific City, Oregon. You could see the ocean, just a mile away, through the dense forest trees. The Big Nestucca and Little Nestucca Rivers are close to the ocean shoreline, making for great trout and salmon fishing. When we weren’t out fishing, us kids would spend our days exploring the trails between the forest and ocean. It was a magical area, two wild areas edging on one another.
Those trails between the ocean and the forest remind me of the wilderness spaces of life. Those wild areas where the dirt and needles give way to sand and driftwood, where the stable ground shifts to sifting sand. We run back and forth on the trails of life, between the edges of these two landscapes, trying to find or decide on a place to rest.
Sometimes I think we try to domesticate God, defining God’s role in our life and equating our spirituality with happiness and feeling good. We want everything neatly ordered or wrapped with a beautiful bow and sparkly ribbon.
The spiritual journey, like life, is none of these things. Instead, we’re invited to meet God in the vast, wild borderlands between ambiguity and mystery. It takes great courage to live in those uncertain edge-places. We are likely to have more questions than answers, but in asking those questions, we discover more than if we didn’t ask the questions at all.
Transformation happens in the border places. That mysterious day in-between Good Friday and Easter reminds us.