Easter was yesterday. The weather was perfect...sunny, warm, with birds singing. I mean, it couldn't have been more perfect in terms of that. However, this has been one of the saddest Easter's I've experienced as an adult.
My dear old friend and best dog, Allie, had to be put down last week. Then, hours later on the same day, our friend and neighbor, Mike Sweeney, went to be with Jesus. The cancer wore down his body until he had nothing physically left to give. Finally, on Saturday morning, another beloved community member, Shane Richardson, lost his battle with cancer as well. Both of these young men were shining examples of Christ in their homes, churches and neighborhoods. My dog Allie was a constant companion and true friend, beloved by everyone in my family. All three will be missed sorely by those of us left behind.
So, how do I reconcile all this loss with the joy of Easter? Celebration and death usually don't go together. But, that's exactly what Jesus did for us on the cross. He experienced death to give us something to truly celebrate...eternal life. He drank from the cup he'd prayed hours before to be taken from Him. He went willingly to that tree, to be tortured and killed for something He did not do. And all because He wanted us to participate in this fabulous celebration called life. Death is not the end for those of us who know and accept Jesus. We have much to celebrate here and in the next phase called heaven.
Live on and celebrate!