because of him

happy easter!!!

seven years ago i spent easter in jerusalem. i prayed among the scarlet poppy flowers and brawny olive trees in the garden of gethsemane and walked along zealous good friday processions on the via dolorosa in the old city and sang joyful praises in front of the empty garden tomb as the dawn broke and filled the world with brilliant light. it was the happiest time of my life - i remember feeling so happy that my body was literally buzzing with joy.

i've been thinking a lot about that easter this week, which has led me to think about other easter memories. i've remembered egg hunts and spring break trips, singing with choirs in church, merry feasts and jellybeans and peeps, and from a young age connecting the joy of the celebrations of spring with the best news of all eternity: that jesus is alive. i've thought about the two easters i spent as a missionary, pouring my heart into the incredibly grueling work of sharing my faith in the risen christ.

and then i've thought of all the times i've celebrated the meaning of easter unconnected to the actual holiday on the calendar - times when i have felt comforted, healed, cheered, understood, forgiven, forgiving, cleansed, renewed and distilled with peace. i feel oh so blessed to know the source of those real and consistent experiences - they come from jesus christ.

i really really believe that he is an actual, living, breathing person and that because of him -- well, because of him ... everything.

because of him all that is unjust and wrong and confusing in this life will be made right. all will be compensated, all will be resolved, and everything will be okay.

because of him, there can be beauty for ashes, an oil of joy for mourning - deep and ugly despair can miraculously become beautiful.

because of him, healing happens.
because of him, perfect empathy with power to cure and mend and illuminate exists and can work miracles when activated. whether it is realized or not, it is the power of his sacrifice and love that ignites those miracles.

because of him, we have opportunities, as many as we will embrace, to change and correct and start again.

because of him, we can have a firm understanding that there is a wonderful (though often so hard) purpose to all of our lives.

because of him, i am inspired to use this life to serve others and to become.

because of him, the earth and our bodies are magnificent and sensational and terrific and in our lives there are moments of such intense beauty that we can feel completely transcendent.

because of him, we can experience true love in all of its shades, and feel confident that that love can grow and last forever.

because of him, there is hope - hope that is so glorious it outshines anything else.

so whether i am walking where he walked in the holy land or doing his work as a missionary or just trying to live like him in my daily life, whether i am celebrating his resurrection on easter day or its impact any other day of the year, i really love jesus.

{how's that for churchy?!}

i hope that whoever reads this has a wonderful holiday - whether it is steeped in faith or not. all of humanity has reason to celebrate the joy of spring and new beginnings and jellybeans and loved ones. i just believe that all that reason and all that humanity is...
because of him.


  1. Thank you for writing this. I am in awe of bright spirits like you. The ones who know. I still can't grasp it. I try and try but just can't quite feel it in my bones. Thank you for sharing and giving me hope.