the inbetweenness of life

Fawzia SulimanThis article from the New York Times tells how many people from the battered region of Darfur, in Sudan have found a haven in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Fawzia Suliman, a mother and wife from Darfur, talks about how Fort Wayne has been a welcome place for her and a growing community of Darfuri people.

“I came fresh from the problem area to America and I did not know I would have so many friends here,” Ms. Suliman said. “So many people from Darfur come to help me, to say welcome here. I still cannot believe, every day, my God.”

Unfortunately, Fort Wayne is a place of in-betweenness for her. Though she and her son, Zakaria, are safe from the horror they left behind, she is still away from home. She doesn’t know where her husband is, and she has lost countless friends and family members to the slaughter of the government-sponsored janjaweed militants in that area. The tears come each day as she waits to hear news of her husband and others.

On this Saturday in between Good Friday and Easter, I am reminded that Mrs. Suliman’s experience has parallels to the tension that the disciples faced between the death of Jesus on Friday, and his resurrection to life on Sunday. After the crucifixion of Jesus, there was a strange quiet as they remained in hiding. What was next? How would this turn out? They were safe for now, but where is the victory Jesus talked about?

Anyone who follows Christ as His image-bearer will ask these questions.  There is a constant tension between the death to self and the resurrection to life that we depend on from God. No one keeps perfect faith, especially when the tension of Saturday seems to linger longer than 24 hours (the day-long wait between death and resurrection is often much more than a day). In fact, most of our lives are lived in this place of tension, which is why hope, faith, and love are strong allies for those who are learning to live in the “Fort Wayne, Indiana” of our walk with God.

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