I’m walking through the garden when tears spring into my eyes. I don’t know why, until I realize that I smell Easter lilies. Resurrection after death. Redemption after pain. I am missing home this Easter season, thinking about how much I love the Good Friday service with the lights going out and things getting quieter and quieter, until finally “It is finished” and everyone files out, in silence, to go home and wait for Easter.
But my favorite part is later, the part the congregation doesn't see, when the choir members unwrap the Easter lilies and put the butterflies on the nails in the Cross.
This work that choir does in the dark and quiet has come to symbolize to me the work that God does in the dark and quiet of our lives when we are living through our own Good Fridays.
When all the lights have gone out, everything is quiet, and it seems that the story has ended so badly--I have this picture now of God in a royal blue choir robe, tiptoeing through my life, setting out Easter lilies and leaving them to unfurl during the silent Saturdays.
And when they are open for Sunday morning, with their fragrance spilling through the sanctuary, the soundtrack will always be the Widor Toccata.
(Written at Ukarumpa, Papua New Guinea, 2006)