Weeping, Then Laughing

Lent is 40 days. Easter runs 50. This matters.

While Lent blocks the exit for those chipper souls who’ve never seen a sorrow they couldn’t deny, Easter opens the floodgates on parched souls who’ve come to believe only in a life barren and brittle.

But – and this is what we must not miss – Easter trumps Lent. Lent owns its grey space, and the good news is no good news at all if we do not sincerely wrangle with the sad facts scattered about us. But then Easter comes and flips on the sunshine and cranks up the jukebox and opens the windows and breaks out the margaritas. Death is very real, Easter says, but Jesus alive is more real. Get up and dance.

Easter does not arrive as a joy easy won. Easter is the dance of the mourner who has grabbed the alleluia in a headlock and won’t let go. In Easter, those who dwell in the valley of the shadow of death gather up their courage and bend their ear to the Church’s witness of the risen Jesus. Then, in an act both brave and costly, these reckless souls let the light in. They open themselves to another possibility. They slowly start to tap their toe. With all their might, no matter how fragile or sparse, they begin to practice joy. They begin to Easter.

I was dead, then alive.
Weeping, then laughing.

The power of love came into me,
and I became fierce like a lion,
then tender like the evening star.
― Rumi

13 Replies to “Weeping, Then Laughing”

  1. How discerning and articulate you are, Winn! I loved the line about sincerely wrangling with the sad facts about us. (Which, the day after Easter, sobers me RIGHT up.The comment above is apt: that she gets so accustomed to mourning that Easter-ing is a bit of a challenge.) Living DAILY with joy! A horizon I have to focus on.

  2. AMEN. Beautifully put – and I’d never figured it out quite that way before — 40 days versus 50. Cool.

  3. Wow! I read you quite a bit because John Blasé often links to your writing on FB. This is so beautiful – the message hit me bulls eye and your prose – well, I’ve read it through three times – it’s poetry. I’m curious, does writing like this flow free for you, both the meaning and beauty of the words?

    1. Thank you for your kind words. I suspect it’s like it is with most writers or carpenters or farmers. There are days when the words run wild, and then there are days when you’ve got to arm wrestle every tiny bit.

  4. (wow, clicking on over from FB thanks to Diana T.) I’m guessing God did that on purpose. I’m not a Lent kind of person (being all evangelical and all) but I am paying more attention to the Easter season this year, symbolically and liturgically. the fact that we get 50 days of a waiting-for-Jesus-to-come pattern then boom! it’s Pentecost says to me waiting is a good thing. And living in expectancy is the gift we receive from God’s paying the price at Easter, giving us all that hope.

    Well put, sir. Thank you.

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