As I leaned into the wall by the patio door, I was only looking for a moment to breathe between breakfast and the day. My daughter, Eden, was born with Down syndrome a year earlier. As difficult as Down syndrome had seemed in the hospital, the reality of Eden’s medical needs was more overwhelming than I had imagined. I was weary in soul and body—weary of waiting rooms and surgeries, weary of loneliness and busyness, weary of well-intentioned but insensitive words from others. And I was deeply sad.
That day, as I watched the stillness of the bushes on the hill outside my window, I sensed something else come alongside my sadness. I sensed that Jesus was experiencing exactly what I was experiencing. I had heard the sentiment before. But in that moment I understood it for the first time. God felt my grief as I did. He was going through it with me. For one moment, hope rose. For one moment, that was enough.
Resurrection moments cannot be conjured, only received. Yet now, over six years later, I often return to the spiritual altar I built around that brief understanding. I see Jesus’s rising joy every day in Eden’s smile, her energy, her love. I see the pain, too, as I live in the breath before new life begins forever. And I hold to the memory of one morning when I realized that resurrection is still possible.
Picture Jesus standing beside you today. What feelings do you imagine he would be having as he shares your day with you?
Elisa Fryling Stanford is a writer and editor in Colorado. She is the author of Ordinary Losses: Naming the Graces That Shape Us. Elisa and her husband have two daughters.