Sometimes, it’s hard to see the good.
All I saw was caution tape deterring soccer and climbing and sliding and swinging.
It wasn’t until the path curved to the other side that I noticed the roses. I had to stop—not to smell, but to see. Beauty beckoned me to pause, yellow tape blurring into the background.
Twenty-seven steps earlier, the caution tape was vividly clear, my eyes focused on yellow. But now, the deep rouge flowers took center stage—a stunning moment-in-time picture of pandemic life.
Today is Good Friday, when we remember the suffering and death of Jesus. We have the benefit of seeing the Calvary from the other side, where grace and life take center stage. But what about those who were there, at the foot of the cross? They hadn’t yet walked the curve of the sidewalk. They didn’t see the roses.
The good was hard to see.
With deep sorrow, those closest to Jesus watched him die. They experienced the raw closure of a relationship. Jesus said: “It is finished, ” extinguishing the hope of those who saw his nail-pierced hands. There at the cross, darkness hovered—literally and spiritually. The body of the Lord was laid in a tomb; the entrance closed with a stone.
In present-day pandemic life, we face the uncertainty of duration.
How long will all this last?
When will the world heal?
When will doors swing wide with an invitation?
At what point will we emerge from our homes to gather publicly?
We cling to the hope of places re-opening to experience life there again.
I don’t think the disciples, or the women closest to Jesus, or anyone else clung to hope of the tomb being re-opened. Yet, here on the other side, we know God rolled the stone away so we could experience life.
I rounded another curve of the playground loop and noticed pops of color in the black mulch. At the base of the tree, painted rocks smiled up at me, whispering encouraging messages of “Peace, Be kind, Love, and Pray.”
The grief of loss yells like yellow caution tape across the playground of our lives, limiting our freedom. “You can’t,” we hear. And we feel like turning around or sitting down on the sidewalk to wait for conditions to change.
But what if we keep walking—keep moving on the path God puts before us?
We don’t ignore the difficult things right before our eyes, but we also don’t overlook beauty dancing in the periphery.
We walk toward goodness, listening for messages God whispers around every corner. With eyes and hearts wide with hope, we step expectantly—because our Savior endured the cross and opened a whole new reality for a hope-filled life.