My church background did not focus on the Lent season ... other than the Holy Week. Each year I ponder anew the central meaning of the resurrection and what does that mean for me, for my daughter who works as a missionary in a hostile environment, for people bereaved, for the big picture of humanity. Is it possible to harness that resurrection power and how does that translate into reality in our wanderings of faith?
Do I reflect back to you what you reflect to me?
And if not, why not?
Can the fractured glass hold back its prismatic beauty?
Catching the rainbows
as the Light shines upon it.
Waters dark and deep glisten in the rays
The echo returns not a new song, but a muted variation of what has been heard.
If the truth be that I only know what I've been shown,
or is the journey of the question,
the quest causes our hearts to burn within us?
John Donne said in his poem:
... and mysteries
Are like the sun, dazzling, yet plain to all eyes.
Open the eyes of my heart Lord.
Death and resurrection are powerful and painful thoughts focused on before Easter. This next poem recalls the Easter thirteen years ago, when that resurrection promise did little to alleviate the painful loss of two children. I have long given up the giving up for the lent season, I struggle with the inner heaviness. For bereaved people the Lent is too long. This is part of the reason I do not feel a need to become heavier in my Lenten contemplations, I long to experience the joy of Easter.
The Easter Sting
I recall that Easter years ago
When thoughts that the promise of resurrection
would be the comfort, the
Power to overcome the weight of grief ...
Vanity of vanities, All is vanity
Death, where is thy sting?
Where is thy sting?
Who dares ask me that question?
Is in my heart
It relentlessly courses down my cheeks
It darkens a sunny day
It knots my stomach tight
It robs my sleep of dreams by day or night.
Powerfully absent that Victory o'er the grave,
The grave too fresh, too wrong, two young the body
My numbed heart shrouded in death's dark vale.
Vanity of Vanities
All was vanity
And so as time heals all wounds,
It also wounds all heals
As it wears down the sharp edge of the grave
It also mutes the vibrancy of the spring flowers
Victory, when will you come?
When will you thaw grieved hearts?
When will spring resurrect dreams of life?
Is it all vanity? ...
(The silent church pause)
The heavens remained quiet
Victory comes in battle, it skirmishes the mind
It cries out in the night, cries out to those seemingly silent heavens
It pleads the prayers of resurrection.
Greater things than these shall you also do ...
Overcoming sorrow by
Hope-filled prayers in the night,
by candles lit, by songs sung
by moments of awareness as our
O-open and the
P-power of the risen Christ
E-envelops our stricken souls
May it be as you have said ... (I believe) help me in my unbelief ...
Jocelyn is the author of Who is Talking Out of My Head? Grief as an out of Body Experience.
During the month of March and April she is offering a free copy of her book to Inscribe writers. If interested please contact me at email@example.com and I will mail you a copy. People that bought the book, have told me it has been a powerful help for understanding deep grief. If you know someone who has lost a child, it may be beneficial for them.
Photography by Jocelyn