Kids can be quite the source of amusement as they learn how to talk. When my niece was two years old, she used to get her words mixed up. My favorite one was when she would say “Mister Pig” for “disappear”. Picture if you can a joyous toddler putting her hands over her eyes and giggling “Look, Mum, Abbey Mister-Pigged!”. It was very cute.
Recently Kane returned from his trip to Israel and told us of his tours of the various historical sites. I was most moved by his description of the thousands of tourists flocking to see the bed of stone where Jesus was meant to have been laid to rest. This place was special not for what was there, but rather for what wasn’t. There was a joy to be had in absence, a celebration of nothingness.
Jesus was meant to be there. But He had just “Mister-Pigged” He is not here; he has risen. – Matt. 28:6
How often do we slow down to appreciate and celebrate those special nothingnesses in our lives? How often do we even notice the lack of the bad?
Last night I was sitting in my loungeroom, hanging out with the dog, playing the guitar and singing a bit, playing some old CDs, watching some TV. I had company, food, music, something to do. I felt good. And I started reflecting on all those things that weren’t there. Pain, poverty, an overbearing boss. There was no one judging me on how clean and tidy my loungeroom was, or my choice of music, or how badly I sang. No-one shot me, sued me, mugged me, abused me. There was a complete absence of anything “bad”. Rather, there was a deep sense of peace to be enjoyed once I had recognized that absence.
The coronavirus is forcing us to stay indoors. We are noticing an absence of groceries on the shelves, we are noticing a restriction of our movements and our freedom. Things that we take for granted are missing, and being replaced by an absence. A void. A nothingness. And yet we live on. For most of us, quite happily, it seems.
Are we truly suffering a loss? Are we truly suffering from a lack of pasta? Or are we gaining an appreciation of what we had – and maybe an opportunity to taste something new at the same time? Variety is the spice of life, after all.
People have died from this virus. That is a tragedy, and we are united in our sorrow for those grieving at this time. A worldwide unity it seems. We have all been shaken from our complacency and forced to reflect on our own mortality, purpose, and importance in this world. And for most of the people I have spoken to, it is proving to be a humbling, yet ultimately positive and life-affirming experience.
It seems almost uncanny, and ultimately appropriate, that we have undergone a society-wide lockdown over Easter. In the empty voids that are opening up in our lives – the absences that we previously spent at work and picking the kids up from school and having coffee with friends and watching footy – we can feel either despair or hope. Which way should we go?
Jesus was betrayed by the darker side of mortal man. In His crucifixion, forces of fear, doubt and ignorance seemed to have reigned supreme. But just when it seemed that the forces of darkness had won, and his body entombed – he was gone. He had “Mister Pigged” his way out of there – and he had taken all of our fears and doubts with him. And there, left in the void, nothing but hope.
Abbey is a grown woman now. We celebrated her 21st Birthday late last year. We reflected on all the joy she had brought to our lives over the years, filling the voids in our lives.
Happy Easter everybody. May your ventures be joyful, may the voids bring you hope, and may all your fears and doubts just ‘Mister Pig’. Blessings to you all
Song: Easter Medley Anthem Lights – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f26P1ftbCco