THE LAND OF EASTERTIDE (By C. C. Elfstrom)
On Good Friday, this year, I heard the words "It is finished," in a new way. Bigger. More powerful. The Trinity knew how wonderful and hard their Story was going to be long before it began on earth. They were in this amazing tale together. They had to be brave for our sake. And then, at last, Christ could finally say, "It is finished."
What followed was Real Life. Hope came alive. Other things became alive. And nothing more can be done to make them more alive. "It is finished." Goodness is alive. The good desires of our heart. The good desires of our creative spirit. The good desires of living on earth. Hope for everything good. Hope surrounding us. Hope giving us Comfort. These things of Truth need to become our very nature. Everything has been accomplished. "It is finished." And now we need to be the brave ones.
And yet as we live out our own stories, our confidence will be attacked. We need strength and encouragement in our own unique journeys. That's hard because we live on a battlefield. There are landmines. There are arrows and rockets from the Enemy. We know that it is the fire that makes the iron strong. Or out of the ashes come the phoenix. And yet . . . and yet. We are only human, after all.
We have the negative voices inside our head expecting that we will hear their lies. They hope, too, but not for Good. The desires of our hearts can be trampled. Do not be afraid. (I say this for my own sake, as well.) The real Truth that lives in our hearts can become stronger, bigger. C.S. Lewis knew that the Stable held something bigger than our whole world and that the entire story of Narnia was just the title page. A reminder that we do not see things, or the proportions of them, the way God does.
Creativity is one of the great enemies to the Enemy. When art is for Goodness sake, it is always connected to God. Anything good that is created comes from God. And Goodness cannot be destroyed.
At one time, not so long ago, I had a very large collection of books. They were a source of strength, knowledge, and even wonderful fun. Old and beautiful books that can never be replaced. They represented Goodness. But the vast majority of them, that took a lifetime to collect, are now gone. A terrible fire came along that thought it was going to wipe them out. Yes, that seemed to be the plan.
Their physical presence was no longer here, and my sadness was so deep. I wondered at the time, had my husband and I spent those years of happy collecting in vain. But, here's the thing. I believe now that they are somehow still alive. They certainly live on in my head. Funny, but that's where they were always meant to be. That was their original purpose. I, indeed, will always miss them; their loss is my wound. And yet the spirit of them could not be destroyed.
If something has been taken from you that you love, don't let the Good that was represented be turned against you to become a source of anguish. Yes, the Comforter has much to do for you. But know also that the Goodness is alive. The Goodness of Narnia lived on after a New World was found and entered into. We do not know the importance or the long lasting effect of the goodness we create.
I love the Gershwin song "They Can't Take That Away From Me." Music, even when not designated as "Christian," can be Good art. Goodness connected to God, connected to Truth, connected to Message, connected to happiness. Hold onto Truth.
Eastertide takes you out of a world of vinegar and into the land of milk, honey and new wine. Take the sustenance of that and do whatever you were meant to do. Be brave. No matter what your age or circumstance. Be creative. God, the Creator, who is the giver of all good things, will see to it that all of the goodness you make will always live.