How did you wake up the day after Resurrection Sunday? So much joy spent in furious singing and chanting, "Up From the Grave He Arose!" and "Where O Death is your sting? Where, O Death, is your victory?" . . . And a breakfast buffet at church, all sugar and cream, then dinner and a company of Beautiful Others at the table, and too much ham, too much salt and too many desserts . . . and a late late night. Yes, Jesus is alive, Praise God! but Monday morning I'm hung over. Exhausted. And sad. There are sorrows that cannot be named still . .. and His tomb is empty but mine----my tomb? Maybe yours? Still sealed. With a body in it. Not risen.
Doesn't this happen every year, this whiplash between the grief of Good Friday and the giddy gladness of Easter----and then one more neck-breaking twist we never talk about: the morning after? The hangover after all the hullabaloo? When your fridge is full of leftovers (yes, Praise for this too!), but real hobbled life has returned--with extra force for its temporary absence?
I found an answer to this today, on Earth Day,as simple as a walk. Come with me for a moment? I promise not to prettify or falsify . …
I walk heavy-hearted into the ugliness of what winter has left behind---a grey day, so many days of rain, my muddy pot-holed road,
I cross the freshet which looks more like the sewage-et this time of year (it's not) . . .
Past places of danger . ..
isolation . . .
and onto death---the lake where a much-loved boy drowned last summer . …
But among and around all of this-----is something else: the rainforest. This is rainforest country, here, this eastern side of Kodiak Island.
It's always green in here---and not an ordinary green. The green of Life itself. It comes from too much rain, and not enough sun. Even in the winter, when blizzards sweep it white, underneath, the green remains. Even the trees that snap off in hurricane winds sustain luscious green life.
Nothing that lives or dies escapes the entwining moss . .. which covers all.
Martin Luther wrote, “Our Lord has written the promise of the resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.”
It is not springtime yet here, but a rainforest is always alive.
Forgive this most simple allegory, and this simple hungry heart--- but I found him here today. In this rainforest. Christ. He has so encompassed us, so draped and hung himself upon us, beneath us, over us, around us, that we who are dead are brought to life again, and we who are living are yet more alive.
One more resurrection. I needed it this day. Watch for it. Every day will bring a reason to die, and the reason you do not: because He lives, still. In you, on you, around you, under you. Today I see how He is hung upon me like a scarf, like moss, like the green growing force that He is, He who will never stop clinging to me and to you. He who makes even the hollow places, the graves we carry within us, once again,
And tomorrow, we will know His resurrection life again, another way. This time----how? Will you tell me what you find??