About Easter

The more I have come to live, the more I have come to realize that in waves of doubt or despair – literally equal in that moment – are hope and celebration.

The church has failed so many people and Easter really is simply undoubtedly a celebration of spring, light after darkness, new life and the mystery of creation… the joy you feel when the green of your hostas or ferns, the yellow of your tulips or lillies straight up usher in the first real day of winter being over.

These are undebatable truths. These can be communally celebrated, witnessed and experienced.

But about Easter.

I am an Easter person. And it’s not because I was raised on lyrics like “veiled in flesh the Godhead see” or “Christ the Lord has RISEN TODAY – ALLELUIA”. Which built an understanding of a savior and my need to be saved.

And though I am suspicious to believe I am Easter person because I have experienced ruach – spirit – pranayama in the humbly low brass tones of // crown him with many crowns – the lamb upon the throne // and how (even in this very moment) I am moved to tears thinking of how love is bigger than me, love requires faith, and so LOVE must be DIVINE. Holy. Recognition worthy. Eyes closed feel it worthy, divine. I know it’s not just that.

No. I think deep in my bones I am an Easter person because I know moments in my life where I have experienced a different, more peaceful or positive, emotion after a terribly anxious, fearful one have been moments where I have sacrificed, let the bad guys have their way while keeping my belief, or where I held the hand of a dying woman to then witness the peace of her dead body; her spirit obviously not there.

Maybe religious Easter coincided with seeing Christ energy in the sun, the green, the grass. Or feeling the open hearts of those experiencing beautify after thunder, darkness and silence. Maybe we should all scale it back out of headlined beliefs and generational religion and feel what we know to be true: the natural cycle of new life coming after death.

I am an Easter person. A finder and lover of the silver lining. A collector of rocks, an exchanger of peace, an encourager of hope.

A lover of green ferns.

A celebrator of the faithfulness of the rising sun and moon.

Good Friday to You: A thought about the smell of the crucifixion and the “beautiful thing done”

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There is a scarf I have in my closet that when I wrap it just right, the place where I sprayed perfume lands right below the right side of my face and I have this hint of deep rich perfume throughout the time in which I wear it. The original time I sprayed the perfume on the scarf and the time I wear the scarf may be very different in experience – a night to an auction vs a run to the store; but somehow the mood of the perfume meets me still.

Similarly, I have a work shirt of my Grandmother’s (Ruth – who passed away last year) and when I wear it while it’s humid, the musk of her rose and her summer garden, her nighttime kitchen and old hands raises up and I feel her through the vivid imagery invoked by this smell.

Before the Last Supper, Jesus was anointed by a woman who poured over him a jar of expensive perfume. There is no account of Jesus’ last bath and even if there were, I find it hard to imagine such a strong perfume would be entirely washed away. I am thinking the sweat, the blood, the tears – the betrayal, the rooster, the cross – all were experienced with this anointing scent.

I believe God gives us ways to remember promises and ever faithfulness. When Jesus was anointed by the woman, he said to his disciples that she had “done a beautiful thing to him”. This Good Friday, I reflect on Jesus carrying the cross, beaten and torn.

I imagine that through the deep inhales required in such excruciating pain and humiliation he inhaled the beautiful thing done to him.

I imagine the scent invoking the memory of her (Mathew 26:10-13) in Jesus’ mind as he suffered and died. And that this memory, prompted by the smell of the perfume, was perhaps even a reminder of the Gospel to Jesus in this time.Somehow I find this as a way God the Father was with him.

I wish you a blessed and holy Good Friday. May God hold your heart tight in whatever you are going through. May you live ever mindful and forever strong in his will and word. May there pieces that fall in place that remind you of all of this great love God has for you. Namaste.