death

What's So Good About Good Friday?

What's So Good About Good Friday?

I write these words from my back deck overlooking the woods behind my house. The sun is shining, the temperature is a majestic 80º, the trees are budding, and the carpenter bees darting around my head are only slightly aggressive. It truly is a good Friday.

But why is this particular day, the Friday before Easter Sunday, formally dubbed Good Friday? This is the day we commemorate the brutal torture and execution of Jesus Christ. Historically and biblically, this is not the good day. Good is the resurrection. Good is life winning out over death. Good is an empty grave.

But good is not the pain, not the betrayal, not the loneliness, not the silence. Those are the things we push away, avoiding them at all costs. Such things cannot be good.

…unless…

The Second Time My Son Died

The Second Time My Son Died

When my son Evan was born he almost didn’t make it. His heart stopped. There was an emergency C-section. My wife was rushed from my presence, mid-delivery, by a whirlwind of white medical coats, the nurses’ panicked eyes refusing to look at me from above their surgical masks. For five horrifying and dizzying minutes, I sat alone in the delivery room, not knowing if I would see my son - or my wife - alive. The ordeal ended when a nurse walked in, informed me that both wife and baby were doing well, and handed me a juice box. The lead nurse from the neonatal unit later told us that Evan's delivery was the scariest she had experienced in 25 years of emergency deliveries. She had no idea why his heart stopped, nor how it managed to start back up again.

I Saw Death Speed By

I Saw Death Speed By

I saw death speed by, doing 80 in a 65.

He passed me heading north on I-71, just south of Columbus, Ohio. I was on my way to New York from Kentucky to help my parents close one chapter and begin another when he approached. Glancing in my rearview mirror, as good drivers do from time to time, I noticed him gaining on me from some distance away. The shape of his vehicle immediately stood out from the others sharing the road. Black as a panther, his nose had the shape of a typical Caddy but carried a whole lot junk in his trunk. From the windshield back, his body shape rose like an elegant turtle shell the color of midnight, high and commanding, yet awkwardly bulky, over the rooftops of the other cars. Passing the other drivers steadily in the left lane, he would soon be upon me.