April 2020 Archives

An Easter Like No Other

An Easter Like No Other

An Easter like no other . . .

Normally I would have dressed in my Sunday best and attended church with family, friends and loved ones. After greeting each other with, “The Lord is risen” and the corresponding “The Lord is risen indeed,” we would have hugged, kissed, and shook hands. During the service we would have sang those glorious hymns—Up From the Grave He Arose and Christ the Lord is Risen Today–that have come to mean so much to me over the years.

The flower-covered cross and altar with an inspirational message would have brought tears to my eyes.

All of which did happen later, albeit virtually on-line.

. . . dressed in my PJ’s, care-worn robe, slippers, winter coat and toboggan—I slipped out of my house at 6:15am leaving the warmth to stand in my yard and watch the sun rise.

The magnitude of the birds singing seemed to be pulling the sun more quickly over the horizon. To the south in the distance a rooster crowed three times and I thought of Peter, who had denied knowing Jesus . . . just a few nights ago.

As Peter ran to the grave that first Easter morning, did he hear a rooster squawk? Would this have caused him to stumble and fall or even consider turning back? Would I have done anything differently than Peter? I wonder . . .

The remote cock-a-doodle-do was joined by the rhythmic tapping of a woodpecker to the north and the mystical hooting of an owl in the east.

The surround-sound celebratory concert crescendoed as the heavens burst forth in a cacophony of slow-motion color. Sunbeams refracted through the atmosphere as I imagined the joy of the Grand Artist painting His masterpiece before my very eyes.

While the azure firmament brightened, the Warblers’ hymn quieted and then became still.

Even though no words were spoken, I felt I had heard the greatest sermon of my life; that I had danced with the Loving Trinity. I lingered expectantly, then ever so slowly I turned and went back inside . . . sated . . . atoned . . . Loved.

Beloved friends, let us love one another; because love is from God; and everyone who loves has God as his Father and knows God. Those who do not love, do not know God; because God is love. 1 John 4:7-8

Whether you believe it, know it, experience it, trust it, accept it . . . or not . . . you are thoroughly, profoundly, and intensely Loved and engaged in “The Divine Dance.”

As I write these last words, three beautiful Cardinals–two females and one male–are watching me from their perches in the tree just outside my window.  Coincidence?  No, confirmation.

“Truly, truly” . . . embrace The Eternal Truth . . . Wake UP . . . Christ is calling you!

(The Divine Dance is the title of a book I am currently reading by Richard Rohr)

Happy Easter

Happy Easter

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Miryam (Mary) from Magdala went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she came running to Shim‘on Kefa (Simon Peter) and the other talmid (disciple), the one Yeshua (Jesus) loved, and said to them, “They’ve taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they’ve put him!”

Then Kefa and the other talmid started for the tomb. They both ran, but the other talmid outran Kefa and reached the tomb first. Stooping down, he saw the linen burial-sheets lying there but did not go in. Then, following him, Shim‘on Kefa arrived, entered the tomb and saw the burial-sheets lying there, also the cloth that had been around his head, lying not with the sheets but in a separate place and still folded up. Then the other talmid, who had arrived at the tomb first, also went in; he saw, and he trusted. (They had not yet come to understand that the Tanakh teaches that the Messiah has to rise from the dead.)

So the talmidim returned home, but Miryam stood outside crying. As she cried, she bent down, peered into the tomb, and saw two angels in white sitting where the body of Yeshua had been, one at the head and one at the feet. “Why are you crying?” they asked her. “They took my Lord,” she said to them, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”

 As she said this, she turned around and saw Yeshua standing there, but she didn’t know it was he.  Yeshua said to her, “Lady, why are you crying? Whom are you looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you’re the one who carried him away, just tell me where you put him; and I’ll go and get him myself.” Yeshua said to her, “Miryam!” Turning, she cried out to him in Hebrew, “Rabbani!” (that is, “Teacher!”)  “Stop holding onto me,” Yeshua said to her, “because I haven’t yet gone back to the Father. But go to my brothers, and tell them that I am going back to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”  Miryam of Magdala went to the talmidim with the news that she had seen the Lord and that he had told her this.  John 18:1-18

Secret Room

Secret Room

Saturday was a hard day . . .

. . . lots of tears on and off throughout the day. No specific reason. Despite living a new normal due to the pandemic, all is well including my family and loved ones.

The best way I can describe it was like feeling the pain of the world; sensing a huge shift of energy and outpouring all over the world. The world’s tears seemed to flow in and through my consciousness without judgement, only allowing.

Chaim Bentorah in his book, Journey Into Silence, calls it “that special room in God’s heart, that quiet room, that weeping room.” On Saturday, I was “permitted to see the hearts He is holding in His hands, those hearts that He weeps over,” as Mr. Bentorah writes.

I went for a long walk, holding all in Her presence; praying in my Spirit language because English words just could not adequately express the knowing in my heart. This brought some measure of peace, but there was still weepiness. I concluded the day mindfully aware of the many broken, hurting and weary hearts worldwide. Thankfully, “The Lord is close to all whose hearts are crushed by pain . . .” Psalm 34:18.

Sunday was a little better . . .

. . . just felt kind of wiped out; like I had surfed a huge wave of grief and was washed ashore exhausted. I listened on-line to several inspired messages from beloved Pastors which helped greatly, but mostly I was just plain tuckered out with little motivation or energy.

Then this morning . . .

. . . as intently as I burned with sadness on Saturday, I burned with almost the same intensity of gratitude and the joy of aliveness.

I was up early as I needed to go to Martins for a few groceries during the senior hour. Gratitude filled my heart as I watched employees stock shelves and negotiate social distancing in the store. Each employee I encountered received a “thank you for being here today” from me and one lovely gentleman told me to be careful. I thanked him and offered him the same. There was no pretense at all only kindness and love with each interaction.

Once home I sat in my office watching the birds play in the Japanese Maple that is just outside my window. This pretty little Finch sat perched on the highest, tiniest branch and sang a little concert. I was fascinated by how she stretched her neck upwards to twitter her melodies and then settled back down when quiet. What a gift to be granted the privilege to attend such a beautiful musical recital!

This too must be God’s heart.