No, I’m not Jesus. But I am practicing resurrection. Before I explain, let me give you a bit of backstory.
About a month ago, I had the fortune of attending a one-day retreat facilitated by a former professor of mine. It was the first time I was away from Kayla (who was almost 8 months old) and I was nervous about how she would do. I knew, however, that I needed to go to this retreat because my soul was in desperate need of care. Kayla did great. And I was refreshed and inspired.
The retreat was centered around the text of Deuteronomy 30:1-20, in which God invites his people to choose life. We began the day by spending time with this passage. I struggled. I was so very tired, how was I expected to get something meaningful out of this? But then these words caught my eye: God’s commandment “is not too hard for you” (v. 11). Rather than being an additional burden for my already overtaxed self, life is close at hand and within my reach. Later, as I caught my reflection in the bathroom mirror, I was surprised by what I saw. Written on my name tag was “O live,” an invitation for me to choose life!
Throughout the rest of the day, we had time to reflect on other material, carefully chosen to guide us in thinking about how we could return to a place of life. Most life-giving to me was the half hour during which we were given art supplies to work with. I borrowed a vase of tulips and began this drawing (which I later finished at home):
We ended the day with this bit of poetry from Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front by Wendell Berry:
…So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone that does not deserve it…
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts…
…Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
What does it mean to you in this season of your life to practice resurrection? My teacher asked. These two words, I realized, were the hope that I needed to remember at this time.
In this season of having young children, I am faced with the option to choose life over death every single day.
To laugh in the face of milk splashed all over the floor.
To welcome each morning with hope and gratitude despite a night too short and fragmented.
To extend grace to the little face of defiance looking up at me.
To keep noticing beauty, weary as I am.
To smile at my husband because he, too, is working his hardest.
To sleep and wake, sleep and wake, sleep and wake. (All within one night.)
To love and to keep loving with all that I have.
This Easter, I will keep choosing life. I will practice resurrection. Even when I’m bone weary. Even when the demands are overwhelming. Even when the baby won’t stop fussing. Even when I’m not sure what to feed our family for dinner. Even when mentally checking out or disengaging seem like mighty appealing options.
What about you, dear reader? What does practicing resurrection look like for you?
photo credit: 20120520_173125-eos450-anvo via photopin