Tag Archives: Easter

The Pregnant Pause

It was our early marriage season “B.C” (before children) and we were young, wild and more or less “free”. Thanks to the USAF, we were enjoying a period of relative stability. For the first time in our recent history the pay was steady,  we had a solid place to live and felt the freedom to enjoy and explore our surroundings.   Life was good.

We lived in a small Illinois suburb just outside of St. Louis, no more than 40-minutes from a great zoo, a public museum, and a large city park with miles of trails for biking. Escaping as often as we could, time was spent taking in all the city had to offer.

This also included public performances from the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. One of the lesser-known secrets of my soul is the love of good, classical music— Mozart in particular— and up until then, I had never seen a live orchestral performance. Having this kind of access was a treat for my senses and beauty-hungry soul.

To watch so many highly-skilled individual artists come together as a whole and fill a room with centuries-old music was a feast.  More modern pieces were presented as well and it was the first-time experience of one in particular that I’ll never forget: Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings”.

The Pregnant Pause

To write this moment requires a loosening of my vocabulary— there’s simply no other fitting approach. Imagine: the sensation of being surrounded— nearly drowning in the sound of stringed instruments, spinning out and unraveling in an almost unbroken flow of sound. Swaying and swirling, ribbons of music unfurl, build and fill up every bit of available space within the possible range of hearing and come in so steady, without hastening or quickening the pace. You know you’re being taken someplace but you’re not quite sure where.

Note upon note is drawn between bow and string, as a pool of instruments measures out and pours upon the audience in a slow, steady stream…the sound now drawing us upward, drawing our ear and eye-gaze higher and higher still— narrowing, focusing….suspending over us as far to the peak of purity as it can go until you know— there’s nowhere left to go…       not one.   step.   more.

Then silence.
Absolute          silence.

As full as it had been only moments before, the room now echoes with spacious silence as the last few vaporous notes trail away and become memory.

And it lasts for quite a long time. The silence.  Almost to the point you may wonder if the piece is over and yet the Conductor doesn’t move— his hands are still in the air. The instrumentalists remain stock still with bows suspended against their strings, frozen in that silence.           Waiting.

It’s nerve-wracking, the ominous wait, the absence of sound and the fantastical fullness of the silence. The contrast is mesmerizing. Then…right about the time you’re certain you can take it no more— surely something must be wrong, the Conductor moves ever so slightly and the notes ease back into place falling in a much quieter decrescendo, working their way towards the finish line, backing away from the silence that was wholly necessary to the piece.

The silence that was planned all along. The silence that makes the sound more beautiful.


This is my soul on this and most every Good Friday.

As the events of Holy week have once again unfolded before me, I’ve done my best to walk as a Pilgrim with others alongside our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ all the way to the cross.      All the way to today.

All the way from the clash with the religious leaders in the temple, to Mary’s alabaster offering and on through the cacophonous cries of Hosanna! lining the Jerusalem roadside.

I stood outside the door of the Upper Room and saw the kneeling and the washing, the bread and cup lifted up, and the hand against His on the table. I heard Him sing a song.  I stumbled along to Gethsemane and tried to keep my soul keen and awake for this one hour as the tension built and the blood-sweat trailed down his cheeks, soon to be kissed and called, “Rabbi”.

I stood in the shadows with Peter, saw the spitting mockery, the lashes and then heard the rooster crow in the distance and those same Hosanna voices turning inward on themselves, dipping into their own souls… my soul… and twisting back out into an ugly…CRUCIFY! 

The crown, the cross, the crowd.
The forgiveness, the forsaking, the cry… it is finished!

Then silence.

Sundown, the tomb and nightfall leading into the long    silence     of Saturday.

These are the moments that get me the most. As I try to imagine the grief of Peter and the dazed fear and disappointment of the disciples—maybe mixed with disgust— who had to be reliving every one of these moments over and over in their minds. Remembering just a week ago and now THIS? Wondering, “How did we get here?   Now what”?

That soul-stifling silence that you never expect to end. Death and the grave. Shattered dreams and expectations lay crushed beneath the weight of the enormous silence of Saturday.

Yes…Sunday is coming but Saturday doesn’t know it… yet.

Somewhere in the early morning hours on that 3rd day, God moved ever so slightly and the song continued. The stone was rolled away and the body wasn’t there. Because He lives!

Here we are:  with the possibility of being the people of Sunday and the risen Savior who can find measured joy in this Holy week, remembering our forgiveness purchased in these unfolding events and all the prophesy foretold of them since the Dawn of Time— we can anchor ourselves in these moments because–HALLELUJAH!– the story…the song— didn’t end in the silence of Saturday.   Not at all. 

The Witness

It’s something we must remember. It’s stated in one of the earliest creeds we know today how He suffered, he died and was buried. On the 3rd day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures. He is seated at the right hand of the Father and….. He will come again to judge the living and the dead and His kingdom will have no end. 

He’s coming back.

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were you there?

Flame of God 2

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction,
so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction,
with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings,
so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”
2Corinthians 1:3-5


God could have chosen to restore us to Himself in any way He wanted.
He could have chosen not to.
But He did.

Yesterday marks the day It was “FINISHED.” So why today? Why do we have this whole dark and lonely day of waiting before we get tomorrow?

I believe it’s because we need the time to grieve, reflect, mourn and then greatly desire, understand and appreciate the beauty and gift of tomorrow.

I often think of the disciples..all of Jerusalem who woke to the darkness of today feeling no hope. They’d heard it was finished but they believed it was over.

Their grief was deep and real…..God allowed this full day between yesterday and tomorrow  so they…so we…. could remember and feel the pain, shame, regret… EVERYTHING.

“Sometimes it causes me to tremble…..tremble…tremble.”


Today’s darkness was necessary so they could experience the deep joy of realized hope purchased for us at that cross and in the resurrection.

That joy was so real that it’s changed the course of history for all time–we can be assured of this because here we are, 2000+ years later and the truth goes on. Lives were changed in the midst of today’s darkness so that when the reality of tomorrow rose with the dawn ...no one could ever be the same again.

Knowing this, how can any of us ever be the same again?

God’s invitation is that we don’t rush past today simply to get to tomorrow. To think about what this day means and hold the truth of it all…feel the weight of the dark sorrow and bright hope mixed together.

This is THE story.
Is it your story?

Praise God, it’s mine:

I was lost. I was STUCK in the darkness without hope. Overwhelmed by my sin and separated from God. At the cross,  Jesus purchased my pardon from God’s wrath and hell and my life is risen with His at the resurrection we can celebrate tomorrow.

I am saved…I am ransomed, I am free! My life is truly and forever changed….and changing more day by day.

 Just as the grieving disciples, stuck for a moment in the darkness of Saturday long ago  would soon discover,  I live from the brilliant joy and truth of tomorrow:

 The Lord is risen, Hallelujah!
THIS is good news!

Happy Resurrection weekend!

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Linking with Sandy and Diedra

“Birdie Bread” {a family tradition}

Bread is my mortal weakness.
***********       It’s the “achilles heel” of my thighs!

Not all bread mind you…no I am a …. {gasp}

Bread SNOB!

In fact, I have to confess…I am a food snob of sorts….but that’s a different post for a different day because today, I must share with you one of our family traditions; Birdie Bread!  Typically, these delicious things show up at our table for Thanksgiving, but they’ve been known to make an appearance for Christmas or Easter as well.

People….Few things can take me down a sinful path faster than a hunk of freshly baked bread slathered with good butter…or just hot out of the oven. I can work up an appetite just *thinking* about the stuff! Part of it is psychological and emotional; my mother showed me breadmaking in action. The rest?

It’s all me baby! Let me tell you more…