Sunday, April 04, 2010


Easter Sunday.
Mobile AL.

A Reflection.
Who will roll the stone away?

The absurdity. The unprecedented improbability. The illogic of it.

All the hope of his followers sealed behind a tombstone. The light of the world shut up in darkness. The healer broken and cold in the grave.

A world of oppression and injustice and disease and madness and jealousy and greed and brokenness. Into this world he had come teaching hope and giving healing; speaking of forgiveness and reconciliation and brotherhood and mercy and justice.

The light came into the darkness and the the darkness has not overcome it? Truly?

Neither was this merely Jesus' tomb. It was the tomb of all humanity. In it was our cumulative death; our joint hopelessness; our organized defeat. In this tomb was shut up all our past accomplishments and all our future dreams. In this tomb was our betrayal and the fruition of every fear.

But into that darkness sparked hope. A flash of light - unexpected and unsure.

Did we see what we think we saw?

Into the inky blackness all our hopes coalesced for an infinitesimal moment. Into some quantum plane an interruption; a disturbance; something new in the world - in all the infinite universes. A light from darkness; a hope in blackness; a spark of flame in an endless, cold cosmos; an incursion - an invasion of sorts.

The summed hopes of humanity; the distilled elixir of the deathbed dreams and desperate gasps of battlefields and hospital beds together with the hopeful and certain bedtime prayers of our countless children through the long train of human centuries. Can it be? Surely not. It's
too obvious to believe that the very thing we need and want before and above all things should be the very thing that we find. A trick of psychology. Wishful thinking at best. A reckless noetic gamble at worst.

Yet all my tacit knowing says it is true and real. That the fruition of goodness is no less real for its grace than evil is real for its blackness. That something is no less certain or real for its goodness is a hard thing for the cynical imagination to hold to.

But this is a stubborn thing. Our very brains designed by the endless millenia of evolution to cling to it in the same way we cling to breath or to eat or to love the ocean and the sun or another human heart. Is it a defect to fail to hope? A broken chain in our neurology? Perhaps. Does our disbelief betray our hardened hearts or tell of our failed human relationships? I think it likely. Thus my disbelief may be more evidence of my own frailty and fears and imperfection and irrationality than my belief ever was. More evidence of the weary world I carry with me with its greedy and power-mongering authorities and principalities and its relationships scarred with
untruths and little deaths. My imagination born in me to believe worn down and eroded by the rocky path of human brokenness. But I thank what Powers there be that it is a stubborn thing!

A trumpet beneath the ground as the earth shook and the stone disturbed from it's rocky bed to begin to roll away...

And I know what I saw.

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