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In the Garden

For those of us who are Christians, who believe in the miracle of the resurrection of our Lord

and Savior, this is the most important week of the year, the one in which we focus our hearts on what Easter truly means. And while I like chocolate bunnies and a new fancy dress as much as anybody, that is the overt commercialization of this holy time, not the reason for the celebration. Capitalism is alive and well in America, no doubt.

I think I have been contemplating this sacred period on the calendar for months now, primarily because of my illness, but also because of a picture, one that belonged to my grandmother. Simply framed, it is a depiction of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. It hung in her dining room for as long as I can remember, and I was always drawn to it, even as a child, struck by the emotion that it evoked in me. So when I inherited it after my momma passed, I wanted to place it somewhere special, where I could see it on a regular basis. And I did. But I suppose after a while it became a part of the décor, as most things do, and it faded into the background of my home.

However, one quiet morning when I was so confused, worried beyond reason about my gloomy prognosis and subsequent treatment, I found myself distracted by that familiar picture. I sat and stared at it for a long time, suddenly aware of the important significance of what it depicted. For although the Bible tells the story of Christ’s passion several times, only Matthew mentions His human fear and uncertainty as He knelt in that garden, praying for the cup to be taken yet, resolving to readily submit to the will of God. I wondered how many times I had uttered similar words to The Lord, asking for my life to be spared and hoping for peace to accept what would ultimately happen to me. I stopped short to consider that moment of communion. It seemed too important to be coincidental. And as I prayed, I felt profound connection to the Almighty, a realization that Jesus came in a human form in order to understand our weakness, to help us when we are downtrodden, desperate, fearful. For we are, most certainly, held hostage by the terror that death holds for us, paralyzed by the unknown, and saddened that we must leave behind all that we hold dear upon this earth. Although this world is so imperfect, we cling to it and the life it presents to us. And so did He, the son of God, who quietly prayed for deliverance only moments before he was taken.

And so, His courage, gives me courage; His faith gives me faith; His victory gives me victory. My pain has somehow drawn me closer to Him, who suffered for me as He paid the price for my shortcomings and sins. And the empty tomb? It is a beautiful reminder that regardless of what tomorrow holds as I walk life’s path, all is well with my soul. It most certainly is.

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