Zero Cadbury Eggs (crazy…I know). Zero Peeps. Zero Easter Bunnies (remember our bunnies were all massacred by some mysterious animal). No Via Dolorosa (the huge presentation that I helped put on at our church in Delaware). As a matter of fact, Easter in Costa Rica is not a holiday like it is in the USA. The do take the entire week before Easter off as “Samana Santa” (Holy Week). Yet even the Sunday Morning Service is the same as the weeks before.
We did get to color some eggs once we googled how to do it without those magical little tablets you drop in water!
In years past, Easter has become my favorite “holiday.” But this year was different. It wasn’t my comfortable Easter with all of the “things” that make it eastery. The meaning behind Easter is obviously my favorite, our entire faith hangs on this one day…Jesus is alive!
This year I had to force myself to think more about Jesus’ death and resurrection. It was not as convenient. And an Easter sermon in Spanish…nope, didn’t get anything out of it.
Add to this that the night before Easter I got a text from Darrell saying that on Sunday at 5:00 am he had to board a bus to go to Nicaragua to get his Visa renewed (he was two days short of making it with his YWAM team without having to renew). YWAM plans had changed, so this was not a lack of planning on Darrell’s part.
Having crossed the border with Darrell before, I knew he could do it. BUT IT IS THE FINAL DAY OF SEMANA SANTA! This was the final day of vacation, and hundreds (if not thousands) of people were crossing to Nicaragua while still others were crossing to Costa Rica. Remember, Darrell would have to do both in one day, with very limited time.
My #1 fear was that Darrell would get stuck in Nicaragua and have to stay there till morning. I could picture him laying at the border on a cardboard mat with his airport pillow around his neck. I then saw him getting robbed, beaten, and everything else you could imagine.
I warned Darrell that this could end bad (not with as much detail as above), but I knew it had to be done, there was no other way. I could not take his place, he had to do this. I even asked him if he wanted me to go with him, but he said he could do it alone.
I didn’t sleep well Saturday night. I was nervous for him. Sunday morning during church I was texting him hoping for smooth sailing. And it was smooth most of the time. He made it over to Nicaragua and back in great time. I was so relieved. But he wasn’t out of there yet. He still had to get on a bus and get back to San Jose.
At this point we were eating a traditional Easter meal of Papa John’s Pizza (sarcasm) when Darrell began to tell us about what he called “the great wall of China.” The bus line was huge. He bought his ticket but he did not know if he would ever make it before the buses stopped running. It was the heat of the day, a heat that is oppressive, with no shade in sight. He sat waiting, wondering, and I could tell by his texts that this wasn’t funny to him anymore.
In my mind, I was thinking “I told you so,” but this trip had to happen and it had to happen on Easter day. At this point he hadn’t even got close to the middle of the bus line and two hours had passed. And he had not moved forward in a long time!
I began to think of a rescue plan. I knew a Pastor about 15 minutes from the border, maybe he could make sure he got on the bus. I knew that the temperature would now start to cool off, but then darkness would take over. Would he be scared? What about the arrests that he had just seen with a police chase and all? This is not good.
It’s time to intervene. “Darrell, say the word and I’ll drive to get you. I’ll get you a bus in the morning.” I had already changed my clothes while he was reading the text hoping I could just go and get him.
“Ok, yea, you can come and get me, I haven’t moved in a long time.”
As I drove to pick him up I was overcome with emotion. I knew that he was going to be safe. And I was going to get to see my son!
Then it hit me. Jesus endured the worst punishment while the Father knew the Son had to endure. I can’t imagine being Father God while your only Son, Jesus, was crucified, bearing the weight of the sins of the entire world. Buried for three days…I can only imagine what God was feeling knowing that He soon would be reunited with His Son. My hour drive was emotional, but imagine God waiting on Jesus to resurrect…the excitement, the love, the anticipation!!!
Darrell said “I’ve never been so happy to see you” as he entered the van, and I felt the same!
Jesus is alive! Thank you God for stripping me of my “traditions” to see in a very minuscule way the depth of your love for your Son!