Joy and sadness intermingle

Painting by Mike Moyers

Painting by Mike Moyers

Holy week is always an emotional time for me, and this year is no exception.

While it is such an intensely personal walk with Jesus through his betrayal, crucifixion and resurrection, for me, there’s another layer of emotional turmoil as well.

You see, my father died on the day before Palm Sunday, 19 years ago, after a 6-week battle with cancer. And while the dates float, the season holds a sense of melancholy for me. This year, the emotion is increased because not only do the dates coincide, but I have lost a dear friend as well, also to a lengthy battle with cancer, on Palm Sunday.

Each year I shed fresh tears with the reminders of the music and the Scripture. I am reminded that my Savior died for me, as unworthy as I am. I mourn my father and now my friend.

Yet there is also such great joy on Easter morning, rejoicing in the fact that my Lord rose again for me. How scared and worried those women at the tomb must have been, and what elation they felt when they realized the truth. And the men on the road to Emmaus, walking with Jesus as he explained the Scriptures. What a feeling that must have been when they finally recognized Him!

I rejoice because I know that both my father and my friend are at peace, without pain, and in heaven, WITH Jesus. Like the men on the road to Emmaus, all their questions are answered and they see clearly.

My prayer is thankfulness that they are with Jesus and for peace for those of us left behind.