The other day, I woke up at the crack of dawn to go grocery shopping. I thought doing so would help me miss the crowds and thus be a little bit safer (PSA: this turned out to be entirely the opposite. Don’t go shopping in the early morning unless you want to be stampeded).
I was all geared up. I had on a mask and some gloves (which yes, I changed before touching my personal belongings and after each store I went into). I was wearing long sleeves, my hair up in a bun, close-toed shoes, and the only thing I brought in with me was an old envelope with my keys, credit card, hand sanitizer, and grocery list.
As I was walking through the aisles, it felt odd seeing others look concerned, most trying to stay far out of each other’s way, and many wearing face masks like I was. It was strangely eerie to hear the announcements over the speakers every few minutes about remembering to stay at least six feet apart from all others in the store.
I felt like I was a part of an apocalyptic film.
My anxiety was at an all-time high as I realized I couldn’t avoid being near people. I could feel my chest tightening, and I escaped into the closest empty aisle I could find.
Strangely enough, this was the Easter aisle. It was overflowing with baskets, candy, stuffed animals, and toys that, for the first time, nobody seemed to care much about.
I then realized that in all this craziness, I hadn’t thought once about getting my daughter Sophie an Easter basket. She’s too young to understand, but it had always been my plan to do so anyway. I felt tears well in my eyes as I went to pick up a basket.
I didn’t expect to be picking out her very first Easter basket as an afterthought while wearing gloves and a mask.
I didn’t expect to not be choosing a cute dress for her to wear for her very first Easter service.
I didn’t expect to not be planning on attending church on Easter for the first time in my life.
I certainly didn’t expect to be up many nights wondering if even seeing my immediate family on Easter was OK to do, or if that was a step too far in social distancing.
For a moment, I mourned the fact that my daughter’s only first Easter was going to be so different than how I had imagined.
None of this was what I expected for her first Easter, but then I started thinking about the first Holy Week.
None of the disciples were expecting it to go the way it did either.
Jesus was supposed to be a mighty king who would conquer nations. He was supposed to redeem Israel from political unrest. He was supposed to be powerful, glorious, and feared.
Instead, the week began with him riding on a donkey.
On Thursday, he served and he washed the disciples’ feet.
On Friday, he was brutally murdered.
Certainly, the disciples were blindsided. It was far from the image of the glorious king they expected. Imagine their grief and disappointment as all of their understandings of what Jesus should have been faded from reality.
But then Sunday came, and on Sunday they rejoiced.
On Sunday they laughed again. On Sunday, they no longer cried, but celebrated.
This is far from what any of us had expected, but what a time to be experiencing this. What better time than Easter to be reminded of the hope that there will be a Sunday in all of this?
Sunday will come eventually, but even in the Fridays, God is still good.