Essay from Michael Robinson

Middle aged Black man facing the camera with his face resting on his hand
Michael Robinson

Forty Days of Sadness

Psalm 16:1-3

1 Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge.
2 I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.”

During the past forty days, I experienced the loss of a friend, and not for the first time. I knew of children in my community whom we had lost at an early age. Jesus was my friend, and I talked and prayed, knowing he was there for me. In my early childhood, I had come to know Jesus. We talked, and in my innocent child's spirit, Jesus was alive. 

During Lent all was going to change. He was to be taken to the Cross to die. I was an altar boy during that period. I witnessed Christ's suffering and death at the Stations of the Cross. His death was real to me at that time. My friends who had passed didn't come back to me. Serving each Station of the Cross Friday night for forty days brought sadness within me. I knew how this was going to end. Jesus was marched to Calvary to die. 

Each Friday during that time was a reliving of his suffering on his way to the Cross leading up to the black Friday when he died. The whole forty days were darkness for me, not just during the Friday evening service but throughout the week.   

I spent time in the church praying as the candle flames flickered. There was a realization that my friend Jesus wasn't there to share my life. Easter Sunday was so far away without my true friend Jesus. 
I knew Jesus was real because there was always a feeling of comfort when I talked with Him and felt him beside me. My foster Mother talked about how Jesus was alive to her. I, too, felt that Jesus was alive. She was convinced of Jesus' presence. Those good Fridays were indeed challenging because we remembered the end of Jesus' life. I knew that on Easter I would get new clothes to wear to church for the celebration of Jesus' return. 

Come Easter Sunday there was a feeling of having my friend come back to me. On Easter, when I talked and prayed, it brought me great comfort and peace. 

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