Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday

Thinking over this whole "Good Friday" thing kind of makes you wonder doesn't it? Considering that Good Friday is the anniversary of the horrible death of a gentle and honorable man.

According to biblical as well as secular history, 2000 or so years ago a group of people grabbed a guy under false accusations with the help of a lying traitor, tried and found innocent, whipped, scourged, forced to carry a huge wooden cross, nailed to that same cross, speared in the chest and died while his mother watched. Not most peoples idea of a "Good Friday" is it? Unless, of course you knew ahead of time what would happen 3 days later. But even then the pain and anguish was real. So why do we call it Good Friday? As unspeakably horrible as it was, Good Friday was the beginning of something better. The world was changed forever. Regardless of your religious convictions I believe Good Friday has something to teach us all.

How often do we face life changing catastrophe? Life is full of such stuff. How do we handle it? When tragedy strikes do we have the courage to do what has to be done? Do we accept the pain of doing the right thing in the hope of a better future? I feel that each of us, at at least one time or another in our lives faces our own Good Friday. A lesson was shown us a few years back when a guy who's arm got stuck in a land slide. He cut that arm off so he could return to civilization and live. he is now without an arm but the rest of him is alive and well. The cost was worth it. Every day, sick people enter operating rooms, enduring surgery and the following recovery period, perhaps chemotherapy so they may live longer healthier lives. Other people sever abusive relationships, sometimes disrupting their own lives and the lives of their children, suffering poverty for years to stop further injury and finally be safe again, maybe in another state or country. None of those things are easy. However, any one of those decisions and thousands of others could be for each of us our own personal Good Friday. Sometimes, what may almost appear hopeless can be overcome, even in the face of tremendous pain and seemingly insurmountable odds.

I know a real crude, rather uncivilized guy that isn't particularly pleasant to be around most of the time. He has a tattoo on his chest saying in huge, bold letters, Good Friday! Accompanied by the sun breaking over the horizon. As crude and uncivilized and smelly as he is, he is known by a select few as a guy that quietly helps people in trouble, any time, any place. I asked him about his rather unique tattoo. He said he found out what it means when he was finally released from captivity back in Vietnam.

To some of us Good Friday means a lot. To some of us Good Friday means nothing. To all of us Good Friday and the resulting Easter Sunday may have a very encouraging message. A free message. But we don't all have to tattoo it to our chest do we now?..........................Joe

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