I love Easter morning with all its joyful music. I wish I could sing at the top of my voice and belt out each verse, but inevitably every year I choke up. Last year it was at the thought of Angelina and Roman waiting for new life and hope of the resurrection. The year before tears welled up as I wore the hat I had made for a little girl who loved hats and who was waiting for a family.
This year the tears came as I heard a rough little voice, unaccustomed to singing hymns of thanksgiving and joy, lift up tenuous notes to sing with all the hosts of heaven and praise God for giving life and new life, death and resurrection, broken bodies and the promise of complete bodies in heaven.
My flesh in hope shall rest
And for a season slumber
Till trump from east to west
Shall wake the dead in number
Had Christ who once was slain,
Not burst His three-day prison
Our faith had been in vain;
But now has Christ arisen, arisen, arisen,
But now has Christ arisen.
– This Joyful Eastertide
When Angelina boarded the plane in Ukraine using a wheelchair, she expected to walk off the plane on working legs in America. We didn’t know that was her expectation at the time, but as the weeks and months passed and her communication increased we discovered one of the reasons for her rage was the disappointment that all we gave her was a new wheelchair, not new legs. Over the months of doctor visits it became less and less likely that she would ever walk and while we have not given up on that hope, I do know it is an unlikely dream. Slowly the rages became less frequent, less volatile, as I write this I cannot remember the last time I sat on the floor holding her as she shrieked and shook with frustration.
A month ago during a classical conversations session, Angelina piped up with an answer to a question from the tutor. Her answer was way off-base and clearly showed she had no idea what the teacher was asking, nevertheless her answer was pure truth that took my breath away. She said “When Jesus come back, heee heeeal me! I walk with Jesus!”
Angelina walks with Jesus.
O fill us Lord with dauntless love;
Set heart and will on things above
That we conquer through your triumph;
Grant grace sufficient for life’s day
That by our lives we truly say
Christ has triumphed, He is living
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia
-Now All the Vault of Heaven Resounds
We have been enduring some very hard months this year; it has not been at all the type of year I was hoping for back in January. God has continued to pour His grace on us, He has filled us with dauntless love in the face of daunting days; His grace is sufficient for life’s day. Through it all, we strive to set our hearts and wills on things above, that our words and actions may portray the triumph of Christ in our lives and the promise of eternal life. Christ has triumphed, He is living
He is risen and we walk with Him.