Of Holy Week and Weakness
9 but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
~ 2 Corinthians 12:9 (RSV)
I look forward to Holy Week so very much each year. Good Friday holds particular relevance to Jennie and me as that was the night eight years ago when our world nearly came crashing down around us. Jennie doesn’t like Good Friday as it reminds her all to painfully of her own mortality and of what might have been. On the flip-side, in a lot of ways I look forward to it because it reminds me that on that darkest of nights I found myself face to face with a problem that only God could solve, and that God was in the darkness with me. It’s not in my nature to give up easily so giving up what was my entire world to God in prayer was a true 15-round spiritual title-fight. I wonder at times whether the process of acquiescing to the idea that we are ultimately weak and in need of giving everything up to God in all its unvarnished, unfettered glory, is the root cause of so many of humanity’s problems.
So for the Clan Lewis, Holy Week is a week-long reminder to give in and give up, no matter how hard it is, or how painful the circumstances. And from our experience, we carry within us this lesson every day. Power made perfect in weakness is not some nebulous construct from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. It speaks to the indisputable reality that God is with us, in darkness and in light. The very essence of human weakness was on full display when Christ prayed in Gethsemane to have the cup taken from him, but that not his will but God’s be done. In not so many words, I was doing the same thing in a hospital waiting room eight years ago. And it was at this ultimate point of weakness, that the suffering and humanity of Christ and the sovereign power of God became perfect, or at least perfectly real for Jennie and for me. In the heat of battle I prayed for God to be strong for me, and gentle with Jennie. In the end, God was strong for Jennie, and gentle with me.
As corny as it sounds, I still wish Jennie a “Happy Birthday” each year on Easter. It was on Easter morning 2012 that we knew for sure that she had “bounced” and that she would live. So, in a lot of ways she’s only about 8 years “old”. I suppose in many ways it’s also a fair statement to say that my faith is about the same age. The traditional “frozen chosen” faith of my upbringing was forever and all time thoroughly thawed out in that waiting room. I am now just a soggy, soaking-wet believer in God’s amazing grace, and in the power that is indeed, made perfect in weakness.
April 8, 2020