I dropped her off for detox this morning. She was anxious. Shivering sometimes. Sweating sometimes. Tears one minute and laughter the next. She couldn't stop drinking hard cider on her own. And today was the day they had a bed open. And so we drove to what she called the bowels of the city and chided me that she couldn't believe I would drop her off and leave her there.
The drive from her apartment seemed to take forever and she was grateful for that. She spoke to me of how good God is. And the different women who are in her life now. She used to not trust women she said, but now she is receiving God's love through different ones. We had been loving on her for years but now she was able to receive it. Accept it. Flourish in it.
Yesterday was Easter. And she was so determined to make it to church that she invited her neighbors and a drinking buddy to church with her so that she wouldn't back out. And she made it. She was there yesterday. Giving me a hug that probably covered years of huglessness. A hug that signified that she trusted me. A hug that meant she had hope.
When we spoke later that day she shared how the Easter message given by our pastor resonated with her. Comforted her. And not only her but her neighbors and her drinking buddy. She said they had cried through most of the sermon. And that her drinking buddy even decided to call his mother yesterday.
She had asked her friends to come to church to assure that she went. But here she was in the very midst of her mess bringing people to hear of the Good News of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And it made a difference to them. She didn't have to wait to go to detox and get her life in order before she asked them... she did it in the middle of the mess.
On the drive to the detox center she got a text. It read "Take Easter with you." It was from her drinking buddy who knew she was on her way to detox. Who wanted to encourage her. Her phone would probably be taken from her in just a few minutes when she entered through the detox doors so these were last words she would be hearing from them. And I about cried. My heart leapt. And I thanked God for His very goodness.
"Take Easter with you." Four words that hold hope. That are living water to a thirsty soul. That mean the difference between life and death. Our pastor had spoke these words to me, to her, to her neighbors, to her drinking buddy. Words that signified what the resurrection of Jesus Christ means to those who believe. That heaven and earth are adjoining spaces. That Jesus is closer than we think. That resurrection power will be a real possibility NOT just a future hope. That what is dead can be resurrected.
"And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you,
he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies
because of his Spirit who lives in you."
Yes, "Take Easter with you" sweet little sister. Let those words resonate in your ears. And when I return to the bowels of the city to pick you up we will celebrate (with a Blue Star donut)
and we will know that Easter matters
and experience that what you thought was dead is now resurrected.