The Lull

It’s Saturday. Tomorrow is Easter, the day we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. A lot has been written about that day, starting with the Gospels (Matt 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, John 20) and extending almost ad infinitum to the present day.

Yesterday was Good Friday, the king of all mis-named days in honor of the King of Kings. A lot has been written about that day, too (Matt 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, John 18:28ff). Carman started on the road to Christian radio stardom with a song about it. S.M. Lockridge preached a sermon about it that didn’t necessarily make him famous (he was well-known in church circles already), but excerpts from it have been played in churches across America for years.

But today’s Saturday, and no one writes about Saturday. I’ve never heard a sermon preached about Saturday. It’s the invisible day. I call it the lull, which the dictionary says is “a temporary interval of quiet.”

Here in the USA, we don’t like talking about the lull. The really bad thing happened yesterday, and the really good thing that’s going to come from the bad thing is coming tomorrow, but here in the in-between (for some it’s more like the Upside Down) it’s quiet, because no one’s talking, and unnerving, because we don’t when or if Sunday’s coming, and not a little depressing, because Friday definitely happened.

On Saturday, everyone tends to focus on the other days. The one that experienced Friday focuses on Friday. We get a little obsessive about pain (if you’ve ever found your tongue seeking out that sore tooth every five seconds, you know what I mean), and more-so for mental anguish. We pretty quickly end up spending all of our time focused on the cause.

  • Why did God do this to me?
  • Why did my friends let this happen?
  • Whose fault is it?
  • What could I have done to prevent it?

For the friends and family1 of the one, they tend to focus on Sunday.

  • It’s all going to be alright, you’ll see.
  • You know, Romans 8:28 says…
  • You’re going to learn so much from this!
  • Honey, don’t you worry about it, you’re going to be better than ever!

But here in the lull, sometimes we just need to rest in that “temporary interval of quiet.” We don’t need to obsess about Friday; it happened, and nothing is going to change that. We don’t need to obsess about Sunday, because although it is coming,2 we don’t know when or how and we can’t make it get here faster, and our efforts to do so always result in further delays.

What do we do here in the lull?

We recover. Friday’s are exhausting. Going through a crisis, whether it’s death or divorce or de-employment,3 is traumatic, and trauma affects us both physically and mentally. It almost always takes longer to recover from trauma than we think. And it takes different people different amounts of time to recover from “the same” trauma. (That’s in quotes because no trauma is the same; your losing your dad is not the same as me losing mine, because your dad wasn’t my dad and your relationship with your dad wasn’t my relationship with my dad and you’re not me.4)

We put one foot in front of another. That might seem to be at odds with recovering, but it isn’t. One of the things the medical community has learned over the years is the faster we get up, the faster we get better. We don’t need to do a lot, and definitely not too much too quickly, but we need to do something. In other words, we just need to put one foot in front of the other. Every day. Even when we don’t feel like it. Especially when we don’t feel like it.

Find a new normal. That isn’t what’s going to happen after Sunday. If we wait until Sunday, we’re going to waste all of our time in the lull. That’s a lot of wasted time (the Easter lull was only a Saturday, but our lull might be a lot longer). No, the new normal is now. As we get better at moving those feet, we establish a new rhythm, and as we establish a new rhythm, we find a new normal. And just like trauma, no one’s normal is the same as anyone else’s. Don’t work towards someone else’s normal, work towards yours.

The lull can be a time of rejuvenation. It can be a time of deep depression. It’s all in what we do with it. If yours is tending towards the latter, it’s time to get some help. Maneuvering through the lull can be tricky; sometimes we need a guide. I spent six months in a lull one time, and I might still be there if I hadn’t had help.

If you’re in a lull, recover, move, find normal. Learn to be content.
Sunday really is coming, and it’s pretty awesome.

  1. Plus the occasional random stranger.
  2. Romans 8:28 is true, Friday night’s just not the time to mention it.
  3. Begone, ye demon of alliteration!
  4. Note: I haven’t lost my dad. Hi Dad!

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