It was inevitable. The men and women clad in orange vests and safety hats came again last week stalking in the woods behind my Condo. I knew exactly what it meant: time, again to cut down all the trees that are and would be threatening the low-level power lines that run the length of the complex that I live in. All of this is good news, in the end. But getting there? Not so much.
It sounds like no big deal but the process is painful. Imagine numerous high performance electric saws gnawing at and felling trees for 10 hours a day, 6 days/week. The sound is numbing the ears and crazy-making to the mind. Yet is has to be done.
Right now, the pink ribbons are flowing in the breezes as markers for the trees that will be cut down shortly. The waiting of the chaotic noise is almost as bad as the 7 AM wake-up call.
At the same time, here we are about to begin Holy Week. Perhaps the tree felling and peace-disturbing saws is a stretch for a metaphor, but there are certainly some overlaps.
For my neighbors who don’t live on the tree/wood line, but up on the hill, many buildings away, the disturbance is a noise that can simply be drown out by their ear pods and smart TV’s. Same for those who will go away on vacation this Holy week and instead endure the crowds at Disney or the squawks of birds flying north from places south and re-settling into their Summer homes. But for the rest of us, going through and enduring ALL of Holy week, in all its discomfort, pain and grief triggering, darkly-lit services, is worth it. There is (PROMISED) light at the end of the tunnel.
There’s light-more light than before. There’s hope, more than before, and a safer future knowing who’s hands we’re in and the POWER God has to overcome sin and death in its more painful and raw form.
True, we can skip from Palm to Easter, like so many do, making excuses as to why we can’t come to Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, or even observe them in some way if you’re away on business or pleasure.
But there’s nothing like the relief and joy and peace that comes after making the whole trip from Palm through Holy Week to Easter; enduring all of what is dealt, facing into it with courage, patience and faithfulness and knowing and trusting that God still and will always know what’s better for us than we know for ourselves.
Jesus is clearing a path for us. Are we going to honor it or run away?