some synonyms for “resurrecting”: awakening, bouncing back, breathing new life into, brightening, coming to life, making whole, overcoming, reawakening, recovering, rekindling, renewing, renovating, restoring, resuscitating, snapping out of it, springing up, strengthening, waking up.
yesterday was resurrection sunday. a day where we tell the easter story and Jesus risen from the tomb and remember that out of the death & darkness, hope and new life emerge. i am so thankful for resurrection and all that it means and the entire week at the refuge was a really beautiful & sweet one. without friday & saturday of Jesus’ story, sunday means nothing. without death & suffering, there is no joy. our past is always part of our future. our stories are always a strange and holy mix of sorrow & joy, beautiful & ugly, dark & light, despair & hope.
while i love the word “resurrection” and all that it means, i have been meditating more on the word “resurrecting” this past week.
it’s a verb. it’s active. it’s ongoing.
it’s not an event but a way of living.
one of my favorite lines in a poem is from wendell berry, one of the most often quoted around easter time. he says, “practice resurrection.”
so many of us are resurrecting in all kinds of unique & wonderful & scary ways.
we’re waking up.
we’re shedding things that hinder.
we’re coming to life again after a season of painful loss.
we’re finding our voice.
we’re uncovering our passions.
we’re discovering life in unlikely places.
we’re showing up instead of hiding.
we’re thawing hardened hearts.
we’re loving in new ways.
we’re trying new things.
we’re loosening our grip on things we once held tightly.
we are rebuilding after deconstructing.
we are resurrecting.
while i love sharing this scripture from 2 corinthians 5:17 when we baptize people, “the old has gone, the new is here”, in my day to day living, i like to change it a little (at our wednesday house of refuge we sometimes call it the KIV version of the bible, kathy’s inconsistent version) to say “the old is always dying, and the new is always coming.”
that’s much more what real life is like for most of us.
this week is the refuge’s 7 year birthday. it’s often difficult for me to describe how significant this is for all kinds of reasons. when we started the refuge, we were a bloody broken mess after getting fired from our old church and had no business starting a new one. but thankfully God uses battered worn things to make new beautiful ones. for 7 straight years we have slogged it out relationally, spiritually, and emotionally in community. there have been so many wonderful things about it and a whole helluva a lot of hard things, too. i have had so many sleepless nights longing for an easier path. so many days i am just plain sick and tired of relationship and love and all that God has laid on my heart about “church.” so many moments where i feel confused about where we’re going and why we’re here. so many days where i wish we had a different past so our present could somehow be magically better.
but no matter how wacky it has been, it also one of those God-given places i can keep practicing what resurrecting means.
where the old keeps dying and the new keeps coming–not only in my own life but in our life together as a community.
where there’s no finish line, no “i’ve arrived”, “we have this nailed down”, no “i’ll never struggle with that again!”
where i keep learning all kinds of things i need to learn about awakening, bouncing back, breathing new life into, brightening, coming to life, making whole, overcoming, reawakening, recovering, rekindling, renewing, renovating, restoring, resuscitating, snapping out of it, springing up, strengthening, waking up.
where i keep remembering that resurrecting is not born out of life & ease & comfort & light. it comes out of death & trouble & discomfort & darkness.
but it’s always coming. again, again, and again. all kinds of lovely slivers of hope. joy. peace. love. mercy. forgiveness. grace. justice. beauty.
death and life, life and death. the old always dying, the new always coming.
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ps: i wanted to let you know, too, that we are hosting our next online class for ex-good-christian-women starting april 15th. 4 weeks of strength & encouragement & challenge to keep resurrecting. we don’t have a next date planned so if you want to catch it, phyllis mathis and i would love for you to join us! each time we run one of these classes i am always amazed at the healing and action that emerges.