Wineskins Archive

December 20, 2013

The Outrageous Joy (Mar 1993)

Filed under: — @ 10:42 pm and

by Mike Cope
March, 1993

10My nomination for most heretical typo of 1992 goes to the Abilene Reporter-News, I was getting a little edgy about all the mistakes in my “Daily Meditation” column – especially since I was doing it for free at their request.

The worst one, though, came about this time last year. I ended a column quoting from the old song, “one step at a time, dear Savior.” But it was printed, “one step at a time, dead Savior.” It was an Easter rebuttal!

It makes a difference – a major difference. I remember what a difference it made a couple of years ago as I pulled my daughter in a red wagon around the quadrangular hallway at Children’s Hospital in Little Rock. We thought she was dying. How unfair that encephalitis should strike a child who is already retarded! As Megan and I made the journey we saw many parents with bleary eyes, many siblings with nervous, awkward laughter, and many kids with IVs and bald heads trying to be brave. Oh, yes, it makes a difference whether the Palestinian tomb was occupied or vacant on Easter morning!

It made a huge difference to Dr. Diane Komp. As a pediatric oncologist, she had a very difficult time believing in a loving God. But in her book, A Window to Heaven, she recounts how her pilgrimage to faith was guided by her tiny patients and their parents.

She tells of visiting with a mother named Eileen. When this woman’s son was diagnosed with leukemia, she enrolled in graduate classes in religious education, hoping for answers. One day Dr. Komp noticed some books in their hospital room written by theologians who were noted for the skepticism. When asked about them, Eileen explained that she was taking a course titled, “Is the Resurrection of Jesus Christ Relevant Today?” So, what did she think, Dr. Komp asked. With great peace and joy, Eileen looked at her son who was laboring to breathe and replied, “I know that it’s relevant!”

The resurrection of Christ is terribly relevant for all those who have mourned this year. For those who had to sell their houses out of economic necessity. For those who were gutted by a divorce. Those who stood on a wind-kissed hill to pay final respects to a spouse. For those who faced every day with pain – of whatever sort.

“I am the resurrection and the life,” said our Lord. Either he is or he isn’t. It depends on what happened that weekend in Palestine. For those like me who believe that he was raised by his Father, there is wild hope. Suffering and death do not have the final word. A day is coming when pain, failed relationships, bitterness, depression, and death will be put behind us. Jurgen Moltmann had it right: “God weeps with us so that we may someday laugh with him.” That’s the outrageous joy called Easter!Wineskins Magazine

Mike Cope

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