FRIDAY // Jesus hanging bloody on the cross. Nails through His wrists, tearing tendons and breaking bones. He had been whipped, skin and muscle ripping from His body. A crown of thorns pushed down on His scalp. Beaten until He was unrecognizable. Forced to carry the cross on His pain-pierced back, broken and bleeding.
And He hung there next to two criminals, while the soldiers below mocked Him and spit on Him, hurling insults at the "King of the Jews."
And at this, Jesus whispered, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." Then, pushing His feet down on rusted nails and splintered wood--to muster up the strength to take his last gasping breath--He cried out, "It is finished" and His spirit was committed to His Father in Heaven.
A spear was forced in His side as one final blow. His head hung and at last the "blasphemous Messiah" was dead. If He was God, surely He would have saved Himself.
And at that moment the earth shook and the rocks split. Maybe, just maybe, He was the Son of God? But for now, on this Friday, He was pronounced dead. With broken hearts, His family and disciples grieved. On this day, hope seemed lost.
OCTOBER 22, 2014 // My brain dodged varying states of consciousness. I remember being lifted into the hospital bed from the wheelchair because I had no strength of my own. My clothes were removed for me, and a muted green hospital gown was cloaked over me.
As I writhed back and forth in pain, they couldn’t get an IV into my small veins. They poked and prodded and tried both arms, hands, and wrists as I squirmed in the small hospital bed.
I cried out to request an epidural to stop the pain, but they told me I was already fully dilated and that my baby would be coming very soon. There wouldn’t be time to give me any further pain relief. The nurse wrapped monitoring belts around my small bump of a belly and stared intently at the beeping screens.
I was having regular contractions, but where was her heartbeat? I had become accustomed to the sound of those sweet little galloping horses from all of the times we had listened to her on a doppler at home or the hospital’s monitoring machines, but now the equipment was eerily quiet.
One of the nurses commented that she possibly heard a faint heartbeat, and that was the last thing I remember before I felt an incredible pressure to push and then an immediate release from my intense physical pain. “She’s here,” my mom proclaimed as a nurse delivered my daughter and quickly assessed her for signs of life.