So this morning I woke up earlier than I’d hoped, grumpy as ever. Stared out the window a long long time. Flicked through all the ‘life of christ’ cards, scattered them, repeatedly shuffled them. Swore at God. Repeated the accusations of Mary and Martha and many others since… if … then he wouldn’t have died. Huffed. Listened to music so could cry a bit. Stared out the window some more. Shuffled the cards again with eyes closed. Stopped & picked off the top one wanting some hope, but mostly feeling resentful & cynical.
Yeah, guess which of the 54 turned up AGAIN.
I’d like to say that this was followed by some grand miraculous happening. But that’s not what happened. And I certainly don’t think it’s a method of “quiet time” that would sell many inspiring books! That said, this was the reality today.
Firstly, I grumpily managed to laugh at myself.
Then I said an under the breath, “fine, I get the message, but if you’re going to raise the dead anyway, would it hurt so much to see a little more of that NOW. I mean you managed with Lazarus after four days, and you’ll manage all the dead at some point so, come on!”
I thought about it for a bit and it seemed that people who talk about “pie in the sky when you die” as if its some kind of soothing story, really, really haven’t understood the message at all. Believing in “the resurrection of the dead and the life everlasting” doesn’t make you miss them less or ease the loss; it makes the pain of the present situation so much more acute by contrast to the end picture. Sometimes hope is a terrifyingly raw thing to experience.
Just now, I’m thinking about the text on the card,
“In the world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the World.”
Said before his death and resurrection, they seem to fit very well with the event depicted in the image on the card.
But I think there’s something missing from that picture. Something that in times like these I’ve always found more comforting than anything else. Those resurrected hands still bear the marks of his suffering. Think I need to find my red pen and make a slight alteration to the picture that appears in this deck.