As I travel northeast on Interstate 76 out of Denver, CO, the Rockys fill my rear view and side mirrors. Driving away from the mountains is always a sad thing. I know I won’t view them again for a good long while, so I try to see them before they are no longer visible.
Getting one last glimpse is important to me, and so I say an audible goodbye. When the mountains fade from view because of the contour of the land, my stomach feels their absence. My heart misses them already. I long to be back among them.
Saying goodbye is never easy, but it is an essential part of moving forward in life. Of not getting stuck. Believe me, I know this. The last glimpse I had of my living, breathing husband was at 1:00 am on the day he died. I was dozing on the couch, waiting for friends from out of town to arrive for a football weekend.
He noticed the empty spot in the bed next to him, and came out to investigate. We exchanged some conversation as he stood in the doorway to the living room, before going back to bed. When I awoke in the morning, he was already on his bike ride. I went about my leisurely Saturday morning scrapbooking with friends. The next glimpse I had of him was in the emergency room, lacking life and breath.
We remember vividly the last moments with our friends and loved ones. The image is forever imprinted on our minds. And not just in death, either. There are the last glimpses of friends that move away. The last glimpse of our child going off to college and coming home an adult. The last glimpse of the baby who, right before our very eyes, has turned into a toddler with personality and language.
The circle of life has last glimpses embedded in them.To ignore these moments is to not live a full life. To dwell on them too much can result in the same. It is essential to find a way forward and grow through these pivotal encounters.
It is the Season of Lent, the forty days leading up to Easter. It is a time of reflection and repentance. A time to journey with Jesus to Jerusalem, and to His inevitable death on the cross. A time to reflect on the last glimpse that Jesus’ followers had of their teacher. One of seeing Him breathe His last breath on the cross, while flanked by two criminals.
The soldiers took down the cross and removed Jesus’ bruised and lifeless body. He was carried to the tomb, His final resting place, by Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. (See John 19: 38-42) They prepared the body with spices and wrapped Jesus in a linen cloth. The last glimpse of their teacher was the moment before the stone was rolled in front of the opening, sealing the tomb.
In that final viewing, heartache ravaged their hearts as they mourned this incomprehensible loss. They did not know what would happen on the third day when the women went to the tomb to further prepare His body. When these women found the empty tomb, it was a tragedy, as they were thinking Jesus’ body had been stolen.
Instead, they realized their teacher and friend to be alive again. Over the course of forty days, Jesus the Risen Christ appeared to the disciples. What was thought to be the last glimpse on that dark Friday, was met with many more glimpses before Jesus finally ascended into heaven to dwell with God.
We live on this side of Easter, the side of the Risen Christ. And while we have not seen the physical Jesus, we experience the presence of the Savior through the power of the Holy Spirit guiding us. We get to glimpse our Lord in the faces of one another; in the beauty of creation; in the promise of eternal life when this life on earth is done.
FOR FURTHER THOUGHT
We have the opportunity to get one last glimpse of many things in our lives. Perhaps you are looking to end a bad habit or walk away from a hurtful relationship. Maybe you have surrounded yourself with lots of material possessions that distract you from your relationship with the Lord. Why not ask for help to accomplish these things?
Lent is a time for reflection and repentance, for prayer and fasting. We are called to pray more, spending intentional quiet time with God, in order for the Spirit to guide our coming and going. To allow the Lord to help us live a more complete and meaningful life. Fasting from those things that take up our time and energy allows us to draw into a deeper relationship with God.
How will you journey these next weeks to Easter? What nudges at you to help you draw closer to the Risen Christ? If you would like to share your response, please do so by clicking below.
Loving Lord, please show me the things in my life that are distracting me from You. Help me to be more intentional about the time I spend with You in quiet, in prayer, and in fasting from the things and people that need to be removed from my daily life. Place people in my life who will journey with me and with You as we navigate the last glimpses and new opportunities that come our way. Amen.
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