So... what should we talk about? How about Easter? It is Eastertide right now. We have a liturgical calendar up in our kitchen (Thank you Regent College Bookstore! Where else would we find something so wonderful?), that has a whole page of days under the heading of Easter! Wonderful, isn't it? Easter isn't just one Sunday when there are bunnies and eggs and pretty clothes. It is seven whole weeks of Springtime!
The reality of Easter has been breaking into my little world this weekend. The Death. The Life.
Yesterday I went to my final Regent Chapel as a member of the student community. With Lucy along, I didn't have much time to be emotional or even sad. But the talk by Regent President Rod Wilson resonated with me. It was on 2 Corinthians 4... the earthen vessels, the carrying in our bodies the death of Christ, the dying so that others might live. Rod pointed out how Paul died so that we might have the gospel today and everywhere all over the world today there are Christians--pastors, missionaries, leaders, teachers, friends, mentors, servants--who die so that others can live.
It began to dawn on me that this tough road of motherhood I've been on lately is also a high calling. High callings never feel that glamorous while you're living them. They feel like one foot in front of the other, day after day, as Kierkegaard said, "A long obedience in the same direction." Dorothy Day called it "a long loneliness." Mother Teresa said "There are no great things, only small things done with great love."
So, I change one diaper at a time to mark the time until my migraine wears itself out. I run the errands. I make the dinner. I wipe a tiny nose endlessly. And I attempt to do these things with great love.
When it's hard I listen to this song again:
Yes, what I need is resurrection.
But, this death, though the burden of it makes my body ache, it has no power. Because,
"In fact, Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive." (I Corinthians 15:20-22)And I say with John Donne,
Death be not proud, though some have called theeYes, these are my thoughts and my longings these days. For life. Thankfully, the winter is in retreat, the sun is still shy, but steadily growing more bold and bright. Resurrection is at hand. I'm going to do my best to practice that too.
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou are not soe,
For, those whom thou thinks'st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill mee;
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, chance, kings and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleep as well,
And better than thy stroake; why swell'st thou then?
One short sleepe past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more, death, thou shalt die.
(Holy Sonnet X)