Easter Saturday. I know I’m late with this post. The eggs have been gathered, the camp site packed up, the hot cross buns toasted and tasted. We’ve sung our Easter Hymns and all the really good Easter blogs were published last week. Easter is finished until next year. But, I’ve been struggling with Easter all weekend. I always do. I find it difficult to relate to the rituals and the reciting. All the words that I know by heart. I feel more at home thinking about Easter Saturday than ‘Crucifixion Friday’ or ‘Resurrection Sunday’. I live in Easter Saturday most of the time to be honest, which is why I find it difficult to celebrate Easter once a year.
My husband thinks I unnecessarily complicate things.
Maybe I do. Yeah I do..
I get a little nervous with all the religious rhetoric. My surrogate mother used to always say to me “Lisa, Y is a crooked letter that cannot be straightened”. (I used to ask why a lot).
When I think of Easter I think of the disciples, the ones that have been left behind. Imagine their distress. They didn’t know the end of the story. They had no idea that Christ would return from the dead. All they knew was the man that they had lived with, done life with, hoped in and trusted in was gone. They were traumatised. They had watched him brutalised, tortured and killed. Then he died.
He was their great hope. He was the one who would save them all from the oppression of the religious leaders and the roman empire. How could this possibly happen now that he was dead? Imagine their disillusion, the dissapointment and pain. Friday night, Saturday and Saturday night would have felt like forever. This is what I identify with the most. This is where we live now. In the ‘in-between’ space. The now and not yet. We live with the paradox of life and death. The promise of a new way to live and a new life within the parameters of a broken, frightened and hurting world.
This is a Drama Script that I wrote a decade ago on this very subject. It depicts the thoughts of three characters, all struggling with this in-between space. I hope that it resonates with you.
by Lisa Hunt-Wotton
Three actors: three monologues weaving in and out of each other.
Grace is reflecting on Holy Saturday and what it means for today.
Hayley has cut off all communication with her brother due to his drug and alcohol addiction and the effects that it’s had on the family. She is wrestling with forgiveness.
Lee is an exhausted single mum struggling with the fact that she never feels like she is good enough.
Grace: It’s Easter, well to be exact its Holy Saturday.
Lee: A family time.
Hayley: Easter reminds me of Christmas. It’s when you are obligated to be with family even if you don’t like them.
Grace: It’s Easter Saturday. The in-between day. We don’t really talk much about Easter Saturday. I know he died for me yesterday and that he’s coming back tomorrow but what about today. Holy Saturday, is where we are suspended between loss and hope, death and resurrection, mourning and new life.
Lee: I should want to be with my family, and I do, but I’m so tired. I never get time for myself, I never get to rest; I’m always doing everything for my family.
Grace: Easter Saturday. A day of silence. A day of mourning. A day of confusion.
Hayley: Blahh to family. I’m angry. I don’t want to be with them or talk to them, I’m sick of talking, it doesn’t change anything. Sick of pretending that nothing is wrong.
Lee: I’m exhausted; I can’t stand the thought of another family function. The week has been long, its burden and stresses never ending.
Here I am again, another week, without strength. Without any answers. (Pause) I’m scared, I feel alone. I pray to God, I wait, but He is silent. I live in a no mans land between questions and answers. Without strength, without rest.
Where is God?
Grace: Where is God?
He may be silent but he is not absent. He is present in his silence. He is present in my pain; he is here. (Kneeling down).
Hayley: Where is God?
He’s not interested. My mum believes in God and where does it get her. My brother, (emphasis on brother), huh… can you believe it? She prays for him. My brother, who robs her for drug money, who stole our savings, and sold our furniture. She still prays for him… she still believes… she still believes for him.
Lee: I’m a good person, I pay my bills. I work two jobs to provide for my kids. I don’t speed, I don’t swear, I don’t raise my voice. I go to church, I do everything that’s expected of me and more, but it’s never enough.
How good is good enough?
Who draws the line in the sand and says, “Okay, you know what, you have reached the line. Whoop….. Congratulations, you are now good enough.”
Where is God when you feel like you’re just not good enough?
Grace: Where is God?
He is here, He is right here in the muck, in the mess, in the pain, in the anger. Quietly sitting beside me, comforting me, holding me. God may be silent but I know that he will speak soon. I continue to believe, to pray. Many of my prayers will go unanswered, but not for long.
Hayley: Why does she waste her time praying for him? From this day on, he is no brother of mine. I told her “You can’t trust him mum, he will always let you down and he is a lost cause”
You know what she said to me? She said,
“What gives you the privilege to think that you are better than him. I taught you better than that. I taught you to love”.
You know what I said? “Mum, there’s nothing left to love”.
She’s never on my side, never. This is what she says to me. “Have you cried for your brother today? Not for yourself, not for the money we’ve lost and not for me? Have you cried for him, for what he’s going through?
Honey, when do you think is the time to love somebody the most? When they are good and perfect and measure up to all of your standards? That’s not the time at all. It’s when they are at their lowest…and they can’t believe in themselves anymore.
Lee: The truth is I feel scared, helpless, anxious. What if something goes wrong, what if I never reach that line, what if I never measure up? Oh God.
Hayley: She said “honey, measuring is a dangerous game. But if you’re going to measure someone, measure them right. Make sure you take into account all the hills and valleys they’ve been through to get where they are now. Measure them the same way you’d want someone to measure you.
Measure them with the mercy and measure them with the grace of God”.
She’s talking about forgiveness. I know that she’s right. I hate it when she’s right. (Pause).
It’s just so hard to forgive, to be gracious, when you are totally overwhelmed by disappointment and pain. All I want is revenge. I’m not sure I can reach out beyond justice to mercy. I’m not sure if I even want to.
Lee: Lord, I don’t know why the darkness prevails; I don’t know where you have gone.
I don’t understand your way in my life but I know that you can be trusted. I will wait for you to speak. I will wait for your spirit to comfort my fears. I will let your grace be enough for me because deep down when I stop all the screaming and worrying and just stop. I know that your grace is enough.
Grace: I have heard about all of your promises Lord but now I must wait. As I wait for a breakthrough, (standing up) I hope in you.
We wait for you oh God of silence. We wait for your grace. We stop and mourn your loss, your absence on Holy Saturday but we were never meant to stay here. We wrestle between the now and not yet, but up ahead, new life awaits. A new start.
That is what I hope for.
This Drama works well when followed by Grace Like Rain…
Worship House Media’s DVD Grace like Rain begins to play 2.37 min.
Idea for Hayley’s character taken from ‘A Raisin in the Sun’, a play by Lorraine Hansberry.
Material for Grace’s character taken from – ‘God on Mute’ by Pete Grieg.
Material for Lee’s character written around – ‘How Good is Good Enough’ by Andy Stanley.
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