Easter Is a Reminder That We Must Face Darkness Before Light

Joe MacDonald avatar

by Joe MacDonald |

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I cannot believe that Easter is a few days away. I keep asking myself, “Didn’t we celebrate New Year’s Day yesterday?”

One of the common themes interwoven into the fabric of what Christians call Holy Week is the idea that before we get to the joy of Easter, we must pass through the darkest moments of our faith. As a pastor, I carefully pay attention to the tone, stressing our need to confront those events, thoughts, and actions that lead us into darkness. Only by walking through the complicated stuff can we move past our hopelessness and into the light of happiness.

The comparison of light and dark holds true for my family’s journey through the crazy world of hemophilia. Just as we face the night before embracing the morning, we must first face the darkness of a spontaneous bleed.

When treating a bleed, we can’t circumnavigate the pain that continues to pound on joints, muscles, and soft tissues as internal bleeding ravages the body. The only way to move forward is to continue to follow infusion protocol and the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). This procedure is the only way we can move from darkness to light.

Many times during my sons’ lives, my wife and I have sat by their bedsides and spoken to them as they cried out in pain. We’ve held their hands to remind them that their encounter with the darkness of a painful bleed was not the destination. They kept moving until they both experienced brightness on the other side. The shadows passed, and new life rejuvenated our hearts and souls.

Although I mentioned the overall theme of moving from darkness to light in the context of Easter, many of us hold on through the roughest of times so that we can celebrate victories over a health crisis that never allows us to forget its presence. Hands grasping for one another to remind our loved ones that they have the power within themselves to overcome adversity. My sons know what it is like to squeeze my hand as tightly as they can until the pain subsides. I serve as a witness to their lives, to remind them that joy comes at the end.

My mighty guys are much older now. One is 15, and the other is 24. They experienced some pretty difficult times in their younger years but emerged strong and loving young men. One of my favorite parts of their travels through darkness and light is the loving relationships my wife and I formed through the struggles. We are a close family, and I owe a large part of it to our commitment to holding one another’s hands, especially in the darkest of circumstances. For us, it is crucial to know that we remain witnesses to one another’s journeys.

In the shadows, we sometimes lose sight of who, if anyone, remains with us as we cry out in pain. A simple hand can provide the strength needed to overcome many of life’s formidable obstacles. The question is, “Who will be with us on our journey?”

For the MacDonald family, we circle one another, providing the resources needed to move past the gloom of Holy Week and into the happiness of Easter. Darkness must surrender to light if a glimmer pierces the night. This message is the good news that we relate to our family. Hold on to one another so that joy comes in the morning.


Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, Bionews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.


michael waldner avatar

michael waldner

Thanks for the vertical perspective


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