Friday, April 6, 2012

Thoughts on Good Friday

 On this, perhaps the holiest day of the year, we fought with our children.

 As we attempted to ready ourselves to remember Christ's death, my child threw his egg across the table, kicked my bad knee three times setting off a spasm of pain running from my shin to my hip, and had a screaming fit.  The full catalogue of his sins this morning runs much longer.  Unfortunately, he was not alone in his wretched behaviour.

 As the frustration and pain mounted, my husband and I were not in the holiest state of mind.  There may have been thoughts of running away, leaving our children far far away.  We may have mused about duct tape, baby valium and other less than beneficial parenting techniques.  And although our children did all end up in the van on time,  parental tempers were running high.

 At times like these, we pray.  As my husband pulled out of the parking space, I started to ask him to pray just as he began to beseech God for help.  Clearly, desperate great minds think alike.   He asked God for peace, for calm hearts and for hearts that were ready to meditate on Christ's death.  We did not feel ready to walk into a solemn worship service.  Going to a bar sounded much much better.  Unfortunately that was not the healthiest choice at 9:20am nor on today's schedule.

 Yet as my husband prayed, I was reminded of the real reason we observe Good Friday.  To walk into church carrying my frustrations and anger, being so very aware of my failure is to be ready to find the cross.  I'm not meditating on my self-righteousness, on how worthy I am of Christ's sacrifice, but of how desperately in need of it I am.  And Christ, in His great mercy, shed His blood for moments such as these, for sinners such as me.

 Perhaps my penitent, humble and needy heart was what caused me to go directly to the communion table this morning.  We were to walk the stations of the cross, ending with communion.  But I went directly there and then walked the stations backwards. Perhaps I needed the reminder that forgiveness is the beginning of new life and from there I can walk in freedom to live differently.

 The rest of the day was not without bumps.  But it was a lot better.  So I end the day thankful of all it brought, the good and the bad.


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  2. Oh, I remember those days. Truth is, we do lay these burdens at the cross, but then we pick them up and bring them home with us. I remember one Sunday in church a dad had to carry his child out. On the way down the aisle the child cried out, "Dad, don't kill me!" Awesome. Happy Easter, friend.

  3. Wonderful reminder of what Good Friday is really about!

  4. I got a kick out of your comment about going to a bar instead of a solemn worship service---I've been there with that thought and emotion!
    My daughter had horrific temper tantrums and one in particular occured at a church dinner after the morning service. Her father carried her kicking and screaming out to the car where he struggled at getting her strapped in. She was two. At home she would kick me.
    My mother suggested that I just start reading from one of her book's---this is when it happened at home--and I remember one incident when I sat down on the floor near her and began to read aloud. She stopped her tantrum and calmed down. I didn't use this method as often as I should have. Looking back, I did more complaining than praying. You are way ahead of most in that you and your husband reached out to God in the car. It may not show now, but that will have a lasting positive effect on your children esp. the tantrum thrower.
    On a whim, I checked in with you. My daughter learned a method that has astounded nursery care folks on a Sunday morning and has been exceedingly successful at home and everywhere else.
    She has Aaron press his two hands together in a prayer-like position and tells him to hold that stance until he has calmed down and can tell her what is really bothering him. I saw it myself and was impressed. In one case, he was thoroughly confused and frightened that they were taking him into a completely different room for Sunday School. He couldn't verbalize it at first; he simply refused to go and threw a fit. After holding his hands together, breathing, and calming down, he was able to tell his parents what was wrong. They then were able to inform him that the usual room had just been worked on and could not be used. Thus his classmates and usual teacher would be found in this different room. He then went willingly and was fine.
    For more info on this, contact her through her blog:
    Hope this helps.