As we sat down for Easter dinner, my older lit the chalice as I searched the index of A Grateful Heart: Daily Blessing for the Evening Meal from Buddha to The Beatles, one of our sources for a prayer or simply words for thought before eating. I’d botched the main course, a quiche, under baking the crust prior to filling. As I cut though the sodden crust, I anticipated the boys’ upcoming rejection of the meal. I was tired despite a nap, still suffering from a nasty cold. The pleasant Easter afternoon, already marred with a crabby (hungry) younger son and my less-than-loving response to his distress accompanied by my stuffy head left me feeling rather grumpy and sad.
I opened the blessing book to these words by Molly Fumia, a writer on grief:
Resurrection. The reversal of what was thought to be absolute. The turning of midnight into dawn, hatred into love, dying into living anew.
If we look more closely into life, will find that resurrection is more than hope, it is our experience. The return of life from death is something we understand at our innermost depths, something we feel on the surface of our tender skin. We have come back to life, not only when we start to shake off a shroud of sorrow that has bound us, but when we begin to believe in all that is still endlessly possible.
We give thanks for all those times we have arisen from the depths or simply taken a tiny step toward something new. May we be empowered by extraordinary second chances. And as we enter the world anew, let us turn the tides of despair into endless waves of hope.
I read aloud Fumia’s words as the candles glowed and my younger fidgeted. The words blew past their young ears but seared my heart. They’re chatter filled my ears and distracted me from my thoughts. The top was fine, and in a rare moment of grace, the boys ate the top without a disparaging word about inedible, greasy mush of crust. Resurrection left my mind.
After dinner clean-up, we walked through the neighborhood, noting the forsythia and estimating the time until the magnolia down the street would blossom. I thanked my boys for eating the squishy-crust quiche with no criticism. They smiled at my recognition of their restraint, adding that is was pretty terrible. Between blossoms and boys, resurrection returned to mind. Tiny steps, both the forsythia and their kindness at dinner, but steps nonetheless
Spring as resurrection is a common metaphor, and it helped me bridge the gap those first few Easters after I left the Christian tradition. But resurrection as “the reversal of what was thought to be absolute” is a new twist, one fitting to my life post-divorce. Divorce certainly marked an end: an end to my marriage, an end to family as I knew it; and end to what seemed normal and right. But if those difficult years prior to the signing of decree itself were midnight, dawn surely approaches. Christmas came so soon after that midnight, shrouding me in darkness, but three months later, dawn is indeed breaking. And I watch the coming of the new day with hope, love, and trust. For in the workings of the universe and in our connections with the divine in each us, there is new life. There is resurrection.