I’d say my favorite holiday is Easter. Yes, my family was pretty heavy on the traditions for Easter, and that has made it to the “top the charts” for me in celebrating. But also, I love singing, saying, and proclaiming that my Redeemer lives. If I had to pick a favorite part of Jesus, it would be that He is alive. It allows for the true message of Hope and Trust. I am able to put my whole faith in the One who is very much alive. I don’t search after or put my trust in a myth or a legend or a person who no longer exists. I serve a living God!
Even with knowing the end of the Resurrection story, the redemption, the risen Savior, and the defeat of death, it’s hard to move past the devastation of Friday. Our work in foster care has brought me to this place. The despair felt on that weekend of the very first Easter is sometimes similar to how I imagine the depth of grief in our children. Seeing something you put your hope and trust in be put to death and taken away. People didn’t know that Jesus was going to rise again; they thought He was dead.
Our kids trust (or have trusted) their parents, teachers, and families because that’s all they known. But then, then there is abuse, degradation, lies, and more abuse. Then there’re no resources, no food, and no one to help. Love has ceased, darkness has descended, and people have come and taken them away to a stranger’s home to stay for an indefinite amount of time. It’s Friday. Where is the Redemption? How does this get better?
During these past two years, we have felt grief deeper than we ever have due to our work in the U.S. foster system. We know that we were called to this place and this work, but the extent of empathy and love required to be the hands and feet of Christ is more than I anticipated. These stories and faces make it all the more difficult to believe in that day of redemption.
It feels like we’ve been called to hang out with people on Friday and move with them into the uncertain yet forward-progressing day of Saturday. Because I know Jesus and His story, I know there is a day when He rises again. I hope that, within six months to one year, a child’s family will be able to take them back or a new family will take them in as their own. We know it’s coming, but we just don’t know when. We proclaim their hopeful future. We attempt to be their cheerleader in the darkness of their current reality.
We are His disciples who have heard Him say that He will be back. When it doesn’t feel victorious or no one else is sure what will happen—this is where foster care happens. Grieving with friends, family, and our children sure does make it feel like that Friday night. Listening to difficult questions about the future feels a lot like that Saturday. Some days, it is tough to remember that on Sunday Jesus wins.
I know He does. It’s my favorite part. I just get jealous that, on that first Easter, the people only had to wait for three days. It is a bit harder to accept when a child, a grieving family, or a sick friend must wait a year or ten or until Heaven to feel the “win.” But I have something that those people never had: the knowledge that He would indeed come. Until then, you’ll find us hanging out on a Friday.
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on sampsoncircus.org
Featured Image by Danielle MacInnes