Sometimes I get fixated on what is right in front of me and fail to notice what else is in the picture. This is literally true when I take photographs (though I’m getting a little better). The pictures I took in my early years at Pilgrim Faith with confirmands standing in front of the altar look like the cross is growing out of someone’s head. I never noticed it until the pictures were printed! I’ve also got carefully posed photos of our family in which we failed to notice that right behind us was a pile of junk waiting to be put away!
Often I see life that way too. Whatever crisis looms before me at the moment is all that I can see. It seems impossible. A little more distance or a little more time reveals that I in fact was able to deal with the crisis and that life went on and became good once again.
Having “Easter eyes” helps us to see the bigger picture. Jesus’ death devastated his followers. It was all they could see, even though Jesus had told them he would rise from death. Not until he appeared to them after his resurrection were most of them able to see the bigger picture Jesus had tried to paint for them. They got their “Easter eyes.” It is likewise hard for us to see beyond the situation right in front of us. We forget that we also have “Easter eyes.”
Our “Easter eyes” do not show us exactly what will happen next but they help us see that God is at work creating the rest of the picture. When we go through a difficult time and discover that God eventually reveals the good that is in the rest of the picture, it is easier to see with “Easter eyes” the next time and trust that the good we cannot yet see is indeed there.
I encourage you to participate in our Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services. Contemplating Jesus’ suffering and death is painful but going through that trauma with him again every year helps give us “Easter Eyes.” It helps us to rejoice more fully on Easter Sunday and to live with hope on both good days and bad days.
Pastor Peggy McClanahan – April 2017