It’s Holy Saturday. This day of limbo usually doesn’t get a lot of limelight. It’s not the day God dies; it’s not the day He resurrects. But, it is the Easter holiday I most relate to.
The last few years, I have avoided Good Friday services, not because I don’t understand the importance, but because I feel like I live in Good Friday most of the time. Death and darkness are all too familiar.
Holy Saturday captures the limbo I usually live in- somewhere between dark death and resurrecting light-where it feels like God is dead, but He really is at work.
Gardening is probably as close to God as I ever feel. Sometimes, my faith has relied on getting my hands in the dirt, picking flowers, and watching things grow.
Henri Nouwen says in The Inner Voice of Love, “A seed only flourishes by staying in the ground in which it is sown…Think of yourself as a little seed planted in rich soil. All you have to do is stay there and trust that the soil contains everything you need to grow. This growth takes places even when you do not feel it.”
That last sentence sums up how I feel about my faith, my chronic illness, my mental health, and basically my whole being. I feel like a seed sitting in the dark deep earth. I have been seeking healing for years. I study theology and psychology, go to therapy, go to physical therapy, do yoga, meditate, take tai-chi, take anti-depressants, take tons of supplements, don’t eat gluten or dairy, try to set boundaries, have a community, and do my best to be compassionate to others and myself. I do all the things.
And, I am tired. I am running thin. I still struggle greatly with my fibromyalgia and my anxiety, and those things are connected to my faith. Where is God in all of this death and darkness? What is he up to? Is he up to anything?
This holiday weekend, I am trying to look at myself like a seed. Maybe I do not see the mysteries at work that cause a seed to sprout and bloom, similar to the mysteries that brought Jesus back to life. But, just because I do not see this work does not mean it is not happening.
I will do my best to receive the joy of Easter Sunday tomorrow, even if it’s joy I can only grasp for a moment. But, I’m thankful for this Holy Saturday, if only that it gives me words to express where I am at.
Holy Saturday creates space for my limbo between dark and light, death and life, grieving and celebration. I am often on the verge of hopelessness, but maybe, just maybe, Sunday is coming for me too. Maybe roots are sprouting under the ground that I just cannot see or feel yet. Maybe, there is room for me and all my limbo on Easter Sunday.