Our first year living here, there was a homicide on our street on Easter Sunday. I remember sitting on our little second story porch watching detectives work the crime scene, and the coroner arrive to remove the body. The victim was shot and killed while sitting in his car, and no one we spoke with knew anything about who he was or why the killing had occurred. The police theorized that it was a drug deal gone bad, but no one really knew for sure. I still remember how jarring it felt: we had just spent a delightful day in nice clothes, eating nice food with family and friends after celebrating the resurrection together. And we came home to police tape, a street filled with cruisers, and that horrible sight of the coroner’s truck.
This year, we spent the late afternoon on Good Friday dealing with a crime scene in that exact place at the end of our street. Phone calls to 911, conversations with dispatch and the officers, and the burden of witnessing something alarming made for a sober ending to that day.
I was struck by the way that death and violence happen on both Good Friday and Easter. As much as the resurrection completely turns the world upside down, the realities of life on the other side can at times bear such a limited witness to the victory we celebrate and claim. We do not live in times and places of less suffering or of emasculated evil. I guess Tony Campolo gets it right when he preaches: “It’s Friday…but Sunday’s coming.”