Really, there is no reason on Earth why Good Friday is called Good Friday. I’d vote for something along the lines of Sad Friday, Awful Friday or This-Really-Stinks Friday. We all have those kind of days. The days that are steeped in grief, hurt, betrayal, despair and hopelessness. And I believe it is important to honor those days. Everyone would like to fast forward through those “Good Fridays” and go straight to Easter, but it just doesn’t work like that.
Even the earth knows it needs the dormant, down times for seeds to prepare to push their way to the surface of the soil and start a new life. We, too, can’t ignore our need for quiet, darker times to work our way through our challenges before we’re prepared to poke our heads out of the soil of life and start again.
Oddly enough, I like Good Friday. Certainly not for the horrific death of Jesus. But because it gives us a day to be real. For one day we have permission not to put on a happy face and try to show the world how well we’re doing. For one day we can honor the darkness in our lives, feel the grief, allow the brokenness and cry the tears. It’s okay, because it truly is a Sad, Awful, This-Really-Stinks kind of day. I’m pretty sure we need to give ourselves permission to have these days whenever necessary or we’ll never work through the struggles we face.
Honoring the Good Fridays in our lives (though it usually takes us much longer than three days) make the Easters so much more authentic as well. The joy is real, because we’ve worked through the darkness instead of just stuffing it. We really can see new life around us and within us. We know intimately that transformation and renewal is possible.
I encourage you not to simply breeze through this week, or take it at face value, but to be fully present to the spiritual lows and highs of Good Friday and Easter Sunday.