My grandmother always made a huge feast for each and every holiday. Of course, birthdays were a priority, but she always made the holidays extra special. Easter meant a lot to her, and although she never made a big deal about religion, she saw and understood God in all things.
Years ago when I attended an Episcopal church, the minister would ask for people to volunteer to spend an hour with Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. We would pick an hour to sit in church as if we were there in the garden with him. I always chose the hour from 3:00 am to 4:00 am. In that time sitting there in church, I thought about what it must have felt like to be facing death in the next day.
Even though Jesus knew who he was and what his mission entailed, it had to have been frightening to know what he would face the next day. He asked his disciples to come with him, and was saddened that they fell asleep while he wrestled with the thought of what was to come.
We humans feel fear and doubt, anguish, sorrow, loss and betrayal. It is hard for us to face unpleasant things, and often we do whatever we can to avoid that pain and sorrow. But unpleasant things are part of life, and I’ve come to realize that it is those hard times that make us stronger and more flexible. We are all fallable beings; we don’t like pain or trouble or fear or loss, but these things are part and parcel of our lives.
Fortunately, there are so many good things in our lives that they help us get by the hurt and fear of the bad things that come our way. In times when I have felt lost or misunderstood or forgotten, I think of my friends and what family I have left. I know I am not alone in the times I too am in a garden of my own Gethsemane.
May this be a wonderful Easter for us all.