As We Enter the Dark

Good Friday is upon us. For followers of Christ who have already “seen the other side,” that is, who know Easter is right around the corner, unlike the apostles, who did not understand and were in despair over the death of their Lord and King, this day focuses on one single question:

Would you still stand in the hope of God were all hope seemingly eradicated?

I have been reading GK Chesterton’s epic poem The Ballad of the White Horse. In the poem’s dedication, there is an attitude of stalwart courage in the face of adversity that I find fitting to this day. GKC writes:

Ride through the silent earthquake lands,
Wide as a waste is wide,
Across these days like deserts, when
Pride and a little scratching pen
Have dried and split the hearts of men,
Heart of the heroes, ride.

Later on, in Book I: “Vision of the King,” The Virgin Mary speaks to Alfred the Great about his upcoming battle:

“I tell you naught for your comfort,
Yea, naught for your desire,
Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher.

Night shall be thrice night over you,
And heaven an iron cope.
Do you have joy without a cause,
Yea, faith without a hope?”

“Faith without a hope.” This sums up the essence of Good Friday. One cannot help but call to mind, as well, the ultimate Good Friday moment in recent film history. No, I’m not talking about The Passion, but rather the final battle scene of The Return of the King. In the face of seemingly absolute defeat, with the clothes of Frodo, their last hope of victory mockingly given to them by the enemy, not knowing that Frodo was indeed alive, Aragorn faces a crossroads. All hope is gone. They are outnumbered, outflanked, and outmanuevered. How to proceed? “For Frodo,” that’s how. Therefore, what should we as followers of Christ say?

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