Eighteen years ago today my son died. But I can’t be sad. I can’t be sad because I am filled with joy on this Easter morning as we celebrate the Risen Lord. As we sing songs of death being conquered and graves being empty, how can I be sad? As I shout praises of “Alleluia” and “Christ is Risen” how could I weep for my son who is right now in the very presence of Christ the King? Because Christ lives, I live and my son lives. Someday, we will embrace each other again—how can I be sad?
This is more than a belief or a life philosophy. It’s absolute truth and it is the foundation of my relationship with Christ—that his death and resurrection redeemed and renewed every one of us for all time—you, me, and my son. Those who are afraid to hope might say this is the desperate reaction of a mother trying to make sense of losing her child. To those people I say: I’m not going to try to convince you otherwise. I feel sorry for you though because life without hope is wretched at best.
Hope isn’t a wish. It isn’t a goal to work towards or a reward when you get there. It’s the ground beneath your feet when the floor gives way. It’s the air we breathe when caught in the vacuum of human indifference and inability. This kind of hope is being absolutely sure of what we cannot know or prove. My hope rest in the One who redeemed me, who started the good work of grace in me, and will finish the job. My hope is in the One who rose from the dead to bring us out of the grave of our spirit-dead lives to a new Spirit-filled living. This hope comes from knowing the One who created me, who died for my sins, and rose from the dead to live and reign forever. As long as he lives, so does the hope that lives within me.
Someday I will see my child again but that’s just a small part of the future I’m looking forward to and am living into now. My God is with me now, teaching me how to be the woman he made me to be. Someday, the veil of this life will be lifted, as it is now for my son, and I will know the complete joy of God’s embrace. His sweet voice will welcome me home and my hope will no longer be unknown or unprovable, but fulfilled.
He is risen. He is Risen Indeed!!!