The women come to the tomb to confront death, and find life.
They face their greatest fear, and are gifted with peace.
The magnitude of the paradox is beyond reason.
We cannot scale it down to make it make sense.
All we can do is experience it for ourselves.
Do you remember the first time you had your heart broken? Whether you were 12 or 20 or 43. Whether it was by love or failure or loss. If you’re anything like me, you swore you would never love again. You rolled a stone in front of your heart and you sealed it up well and good and you walked away.
And you stuck to that promise, to never love again…until you met him or her; or gave birth; or found the job that unsealed your passion, the thing to which you would give your life; or forgave or were forgiven…whatever experience it was that made you surrender all your best defences after you’d sworn you would never be unguarded again.
We do so much guarding.
in conversation we are defensive
in walking along the street we are suspicious
in participation we are conservative, making sure to hold something back
It goes against reason to be exposed.
And yet we know that exposure is a pathway – the only pathway – to expansion.
The women go to the tomb to confront death…and find life.
They face their fears…and find peace.
Easter is an invitation to exposure. To drop our guard. To unseal ourselves. It’s terrifying. But it is the only pathway to expansion, of our selves, of our souls, of our world.
We know this, at a deeper level of instinct than even our instinct for guardedness and self-protection. That’s why we have catchy phrases like, “It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”
Our Easter story from Matthew ends with a call to come out and be exposed to life in all of its terrifying expansiveness – there are no limits, it would seem – not even death limits life…really.
28:10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
Go. Out. There. The very definition of exposure.
I’d like to think there was at least one disciple who might have had a spirit like Walt Whitman’s in his Song of the Open Road; the spirit of willingness to be exposed to life, limitless life. Maybe this is what the Marys sang to their brothers in arms:
Allons! whoever you are come travel with me!
Traveling with me you find what never tires.
The earth never tires,
The earth is rude, silent, incomprehensible at first, Nature is rude and incomprehensible at first,
Be not discouraged, keep on, there are divine things well envelop’d,
I swear to you there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell.
Allons! we must not stop here,
However sweet these laid-up stores, however convenient this dwelling we cannot remain here,
However shelter’d this port and however calm these waters we must not anchor here,
However welcome the hospitality that surrounds us we are permitted to receive it but a little while.
When we sing our Easter hymns, we sing songs of the open road, reaffirming our willingness to go.
It doesn’t matter if we go out there terrified or tentatively. In fact, if we wait until we are neither of these things, until we are ready, we will most likely never go. If we wait until we are full of courage and empty of doubt, we are far more likely to shrink than expand.
The call is to
To be exposed, in order that we might be expanded into life, limitless life.
posted 22 Apr 2014 by Jana