Monday, April 17, 2017

The Resurrection Duck

We watch him, a tormented soul, standing on the grassy easement of a narrow two-way street near our house.

It’s Easter morning. The sun has just risen so the traffic is light.  Those who were going to the sunrise service are singing hymns celebrating the empty tomb.  The sleepy-heads are still sleeping in their beds waiting for the second resurrection.

He waddles to the curb and as he is about to step onto the street, the car comes from around the bend so he hops back to safety.  He hesitates for a while, gathering courage for the next attempt.

On the other side his three friends look helplessly, waiting for him to join their party.

His next attempt is interrupted with the speeding motorcycle zooming from the opposite direction.

He races back as fast as his short webby feet would allow him. Back onto the green. Back to safety. 

With each failed attempt the road grows wider and more menacing to his unblinking eye. Practically impassable.

I can’t stand watching his tortured existence any longer.

I look to the right and to the left -  the road clear - I spread my arms wide, a  featherless monstrosity flailing furiously, bearing down on him full speed.

The prospect of becoming an unexpected addition to the main course of an Easter banquet, overrides his paralysis of fear.

For a split-second I think I gave him a heart attack, before he lifts off and flies across the road.

When he safely lands among his friends, I don’t think he fully realizes yet that he has wings… that he can fly. The adrenaline is still rushing through his body, a whale of a story forming inside his little head to tell anyone who is willing to hear. 

His terrifying attempts to cross the road. The feeling of being stuck. Alone. The hopelessness. The paralyzing fear. The ugly mean giant who viciously attacked him... 

... when it finally hits him,

I can FLY!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Missing Child of Easter

Tucked between Good Friday and Easter Sunday is mostly overlooked, largely neglected middle child of Easter.

Saturday, also known as Sabbath.

The Day of Rest.

In this country, it is a day jam-packed with chocolate bunnies and jelly beans, church potlucks and carnivals, Easter egg hunts and other fun activities to kill the time between Good Friday and the sunrise service on Sunday.

I often wonder, though, about that first Sabbath, the first day of rest after the crucifixion of Jesus.

After the drama, the chaos, the noise, the horror – the nightmare of the day Jesus died, how in the world did the friends of Jesus find it in themselves to honor the commandment of God to keep the day of rest as they obviously did??

Everything happened so fast.

Everything happened so unexpected.

Were they reeling from all the thoughts and emotions that swarmed inside them, drowning in confusion and the turmoil that they were simply spent? Emotionally, physically, spiritually exhausted, so they entered a coma of sort, shocked and disengaged as they reached the threshold of human limit to bear grief.

Or did they, while going about their day, slowly, gently, quietly wrap in burial cloths their hopes and dreams, and lay them to rest alongside Jesus’ dead body, remembering with shudder the rolling of the stone, closing on the grave with the final thud?

Were they gathering the little strength that they had left to prepare for facing unimaginable, facing the new week, the first day of the new Jesus-less era, wondering how were they going to survive a minute, an hour, much less an entire day with him gone… knowing its forever?

Or were they somehow, someway able to receive the rest that God gives to all those who trust His goodness even in the darkest, longest night?

I wonder what the friends of Jesus felt on that day...  that must have felt like a thousand-year long sleepless night of rest...

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

The Taste Test

It really was a dumb, no-win question.  

Are they any good?

If I had thought of it, I would have known that there was one and only one way to find out about the true nature of the advertised mangoes.

I would have to go to the store, get some and try them myself. 

That’s the way with some things in life.

Having stumbled upon enough tasteless, unripe, stringy, woody,  rotten mangoes  – as well as tasted some really good ones,  I find I am becoming more of a skeptic.

I don’t just jump in with both feet simply because somebody posted it on Facebook.

I don't believe it just because I see it, or hear or read about it.

Are they any good?

Well, come and see for yourself.

When Phillip told Nathanael that they found the One promised through Moses and Prophets, Nathanael was skeptical.

There have been too many fake Messiahs parading through history. 

Our age didn’t invent fake news.

How do you know who is the real deal?

Don’t just trust my word for it.

Don’t just believe because somebody says it.

Come and see for yourself.

O taste and see that the Lord is good. Psalm 34:8

Monday, April 03, 2017

The Mango Tango

Few days ago the manager of my favorite produce store posted a picture on their Facebook page of a pallet stacked high with boxes of mangoes. There was also another close-up of beautiful shiny fruit with $2.99 a box as the advertised price.

I was hooked.

Those mangoes at that price…?!??! The deal was too good to pass.

Just one box wouldn’t be nearly enough for our family. I was already calculating in my head how many boxes - salsa, mango smoothie, mango-Key lime pie, Caribbean mango salad...

- we could accommodate when, What if they aren’t any good?, popped inside my head.  

Remember, last time you bought mangoes they were so tasteless you were the only one willing to eat them…

As much as I hate hearing my Rain-on-the-Parade Voice of Reason, I had to admit he got a valid point.  Even the favorite store has a bad apple - or mango - from time to time. But, I wasn’t going to subject myself to another truckload of unripe fruit that went from mediocre to rotting... and they weren't even on sale!

In order to ensure I won't make the same mistake again, I typed up a simple question in the comment box under the pictures,

Are they any good?, then hit the return on my keyboard and saw my words posted on the Internet for the whole world to see forever.

Are they any good?


It was like a delayed reaction.... What was I thinking???!!? I didn’t mean to be insulting but… what was I hoping for...???

For him to cordially reply with,

Oh, they are terrible, just like last time, but we got so many that we are simply trying to unload them to the gullible fools like you.  


They are bland but tolerable - what do you expect at that price? 

Or, make some other similar self-incriminating comment posted on Facebook, effectively ruining our relationship and their business forever and ever?

Pleading the fifth in this case seemed like the most prudent approach.