I work on Good Friday. As long as , I have. I’m also a practicing Christian. An unashamed evangelical Christian at that.
So you may ask, “Why in the world would you work on Good Friday and not observe its significance?” But I DO observe the significance of Good Friday by working on that day.
I try not to wear my Christianity on my sleeve. Not trying to be self-righteous here. But I know plenty of folks who show off their religiosity like crazy in public and make up for it when no one is looking.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m far from perfect and would not want anyone to use me as an example of the “perfect Christian.” But I do try to live my faith in an active way.
A friend asked me some time ago how, despite having gone through some extremely tough times, I could still have joy and peace of mind. He mentioned that he doubted he could do the same without some help. It was awesome being able to relate to him how I did not and could not have done as well as I had alone.
When I was young, the future did not look so bright. Growing up in an abusive home with little hope but to get out someday, I was somewhat cynical about God and Jesus. Sure, I KNEW who they were and what they were all about. But I didn’t buy into the whole “being saved” or “born again” thing. It just seemed a little hokey and distant.
My life really sucked. I had even gotten my parents to agree to allow me to enlist in the Marines when I turned 17 so that I could go to Vietnam and kill or be killed.
Needless to say, something was wrong. It was as if I was just disconnected from anything like happiness, joy or peace of mind.
I was in the South, so it was not unusual to be invited to church with a friend or family member. On one such occasion, the preacher talked about the sadness that many people feel because they simply feel they don’t belong or simply because they feel “lost.”
Lost. Not as in sin. Because most folks believe they’re pretty good people and don’t need to be “saved.” But lost in the sense that nothing works and you’re just disconnected from something you can’t quite identify.
That was when he talked about the prodigal son and how even being one of his father’s servants was better than sleeping and eating with pigs. On seeing the son coming home, the father threw a feast for his son. The preacher said, “Come home. Just as you are, come home.”
Since that moment, I have known a connectedness that is impossible to relate adequately in words. But its significance isn’t lost on me or folks with whom I come in contact on a regular basis.
All my life, I have gotten great satisfaction from helping others, specifically helping them feel better. Sometimes physically. Sometimes emotionally.
Many of the folks I help as a chiropractor suffer because deep inside they suffer from emotional stress and trauma. It may be anger, fear, worry or doubt. Nevertheless, their emotions affect their health. And while most of them do come to alleviate physical suffering, many come back because something about my practice makes them feel at ease.
This brings me to Good Friday. Good Friday represents the day Jesus was crucified. On that day, all the wrong that I (and all of mankind) had (and will have) done was paid for.
As brutal as human sacrifice may sound, we all know that doing wrong eventually carries a price. That price was paid on Good Friday.
When I think of Good Friday, I am able to bury the past and literally turn toward the life I want to live, full of joy and peace of mind. While I still must deal with the world, I do it on my terms and never alone.
So I work on Good Friday. I work just in case that one person who needs some physical or emotional healing comes in and asks, “Why are you so happy?” I work so others might see God’s Grace shine through my joy and happiness.
I work on Good Friday because I never have to be alone again, and I want others to feel that joy, too.