Sunday, April 5, 2015

Roll Away the Stone

They have been saying 
all our plans are empty
They have been saying
Where is their God now?

They have been saying 
No one will remember
They have been saying
Power rules the world

They have been saying
No one hears the singing
They have been saying
All our strength is gone

They have been saying
All of us are dying
They have been saying
All of us are dead.

Roll away the stone...

For someone whose faith took a huge hit when Joseph died, this day has come to mean so much to me, deeply, spiritually, quietly. I really don't celebrate Easter the way that most traditionally do.Once upon a time, there were elaborate baskets and hidden treasures, fancy clothing and crowded church services, family pictures and feasting. As I went through my divorce, losing the house, going bankrupt, my faith started to die along with my marriage. Alexander's brain tumor, my father's sudden death and Joseph's suffering and departure pushed me further and further away from the God I had been raised with. I never really could hear His voice, but I was comforted in the idea of Him, once upon a time. It was a great loss to me and I was angry. Angry at how life was turning out, angry that I was not deemed "Good enough" for the endless blessings I perceived in others around me...jealous, angry and devastated. I was fractured and the faith I thought I had was leaking out of the cracks.

I am not sure when things finally began to change for me. I picked up a book called The Shack, a book that spoke of God and finally, finally FINALLY didn't pretend I needed to be happy or less than angry or less that bitter. That book acknowledged my internal rage and sense of abandonment. It put God into person in a way that I could read about, somehow finding the fragile tendrils of my need swaying in all that brokenness. I held on bitterly. I needed it and knew I needed it, but I was not happy about that. I didn't want a relationship nor did I want a conversation. God sat quietly with me. I didn't have to look at Him. We didn't have to talk. He let me know he was in the room and I let him know I would not pretend he wasn't. That was as far as it went.

I won't pretend it is a whole lot further than that now. I reach out a hand sometimes and touch his presence. I talk to him once in a while. He talks to me frequently.

Easter has become for me the most personal, intense, sorrowful, hopeful holiday. It is on my inside. Not on my outside. I have rolled away the stone.

The above are the lyrics to my favorite Easter hymn, by Tom Conry. The choir at church sang it for Joseph's funeral and it has come to have deep emotion and meaning attached. It is the very sound of my hope and my faith.

No comments: