In some seasons there is time and space for deeper reflection than others. The Lent Season of 2015 was not one of reflecting, soul searching, or figuring out what the core of me believes and celebrates. It is a choice to slow down enough to reflect. Not unlike a lot of folks, I choose to stay busy enough to avoid reflection more often than not.
I don't know how life on this difficult little island changes my experience, but I know it changes my experience. Life and death are very real in the day-to-day here. In a matter of hours I may witness both.
The other night on one short drive I saw two young men in two separate locations injured and dying on the side of the road. (Nobody in those two vicinities expected a 911 call to equal a rapid response. They stood by while the injured men suffered.)
Last night I again witnessed the birth of new life as a beautiful and brave young mother asked us several times to pray for her; then confidently pushed her little baby girl into my hands.
I loved what my friend and midwife said about that birth:
"What a beautiful, middle of the night birth. We entered just as mom was ready to begin the pushing process. This young woman had already birthed trust, love for her baby, and a true knowing of what she had to do. It was holy. The rain had finished, the night was still with us, the moon red (or so I heard tell) and this first time mom reached into that confident place, grabbed her believing, grabbed us and grabbed God and delivered a baby girl. It was art. It was how it can be done."
As a follower of a crucified and risen King, I often times struggle to "grab my believing" - to focus on the hope of resurrection and the promise of new life while surrounded by the weight of death and injustice.
I need to learn how to better grab my believing and celebrate Easter.
Walter Brueggemann wrote a poem for Ash Wednesday called "Marked by Ashes" and in that poem he says:
Easter us to joy and energy and courage and freedom;Easter us that we may be fearless for your truth.Come here and Easter our Wednesday withmercy and justice and peace and generosity.
In my desire to learn to be better at hope and better at resurrection, I am praying. Today, may the Resurrected One Easter us to joy, hope, mercy, justice, peace and generosity. Easter us, Lord. May The light defeat the darkness. May Your hope overcome my grief. May unusual peace reign in my heart prone to chaos.
He is risen means death does not have the final word. Easter us, Lord. Amen.