Sometimes resurrection feels like spring cleaning. First we have to admit to the dirt and the mess, stomp around asking if the people who live here think they live in a barn. We have to scrub and scour, our hands grow tired but we’re setting things to order and to beauty and the whole time we’re working, the windows are wide open and the curtains are lifting with the breeze and everything in the house feels like it’s waking up.
Sometimes resurrection feels like walking slowly with a toddler. You have to stop and examine each new flower or leaf or blade of grass, every gum wrapped and cigarette butt has to be swept away from little fingers. It feels disorienting to be noticing everything, to be moving so slowly, it seems like it would be easier to sweep that toddler up and just stride quickly to where you want to go but this is how we learn and this is how we teach. It’s slow going indeed but as we walk we find ourselves walking right into who and where we were meant to be all along, our lungs are strong and our feet are on the ground and a child keeps saying, “look!” and you are beginning to finally see.
Sometimes resurrection feels like springtime when everything is a disastrous mess of mud and muck and left over salt on the edges of the roads. It’s brown and dead and ugly, even winter would be better than this resolute barrenness. And then one day there is one little snow flower that pokes up from the brown ground and you catch sight of it and point it out to the neighbours and to your children and you grin like a fool all day because look, a little flower is up!
Sometimes resurrection feels like growing up. You think it’s taking forever but then you’re out on your own in your grown-up life and you realise how short your childhood was really in the scheme of things and now you’ve got all of this life ahead of you as the person who were always headed towards becoming.
Sometimes resurrection is like making love. Sometimes it looks like good food with good friends telling stories on themselves. Sometimes it looks like a therapists office and a box of tissues and learning to tell the truth. Sometimes it looks like church and sometimes it looks like the wilderness. Sometimes it looks like a mountain and sometimes it looks like the ocean, sometimes it looks like a small creek in your back yard, the one the kids float leaves down and pretend are boats but then you next find resurrection in the prison handing out diplomas and in the hospital rocking babies and in the hospice singing “It is Well With My Soul” under your breath. Sometimes resurrection looks nothing like what you expect and sometimes it’s everything you ever wanted. Resurrection always surprises us: who could expect this?
Sometimes resurrection feels like the spring equinox. You’ve been waking up in the darkness and feeling the sun as a weak attempt, a cousin of light instead of actual light, and the tinies come home from school in the sunset even though it’s only 3 o’clock and you move through your nights in the darkness and rise again in the dark. And then one day you realise you’re making supper and it’s still light out. And then you realise you woke up in the morning and there was sun coming through the blinds, imprinting against the green wall in slats of light. And then you think it’s light and it’s getting on toward being light more than dark and we’re turning, hallelujah.
Sometimes resurrection feels like singing out loud with your own voice even though you never used to sing.
Sometimes resurrection looks like standing outside of the tomb of the one whom you love, weeping without consolation only to find yourself in his presence. It looks like not recognizing him and it looks like being told to go tell the story. Sometimes resurrection speaks your name and you finally see clearly. It looks like scars where there were wounds and it looks like light and hope and you even feel afraid of your joy.
Sometimes resurrection feels like standing in front the Table of the Lord at church, right before a man and a woman who love Jesus, too. It looks like holding your hands open, cupped to receive without striving or grasping. It feels like the goodness of bread and the movement of dipping that bread into a cup of wine. It feels like lowering your head to hear them remind you again and again and again that this body is for you and this wine is for you – even you. Resurrection feels like the wine running down your fingers and into the palm of your hand as you hold up that piece of soaked bread and then you put it on your tongue and push it up against the roof of your mouth, tasting and seeing. You trace the sign of the Cross on your doubting and faith-filled head and heart and then you walk back to your seat. It feels like that moment when you are among the people again and your knees buckle and the power of God sweeps into your body like a reminder: there’s a rushing wind here, there’s a power, a power, a wonder-working power.