How can one both look forward to another white cap in her ark and weep at the same thought?
Well, she can.
One of those things my husband says is, "Don't be more pious than God." God, as it turns out, was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. When his soul heaved in Gethsemane, no one told him to quit being so negative, to man up and do what he was born for and be glad about the privilege of being the Savior of the world.
Distress over the cups we are given to drink does not mean that we do not also cherish and cling to the joy set before us. It is only that promise of joy which strengthens us to receive yet another blessed cup of pain and hardship.
So Easter is coming, but Friday is also Good. We do not turn our eyes from the betrayal, the slander, the violence, the shame, the horror. The agony and humiliation? Not even God looked forward to that, not even knowing the full and holy cure it would pour out on eternity.
"If it be possible . . ."--the craziest prayer. As if a child could be born in sin or a world saved from sin without pain. How kind is our Lord to teach us that it's OK to ask anyway. In our Gethsemanes he will watch with us, when others sleep or spit the suffering back in our faces or just don't care.