Sunday, April 21, 2019

Rejoice? Easter In Grief

I don't have anything profound to say. It's just weird, which is to say, we're used to death, and it is still fundamentally absurd. I just couldn't get past it, which is not to say I had tears. It's deeper than a feeling; it's a gut conviction: You're supposed to be here, and you're not. We all have those people, and the list gets longer and longer as we go through life.

Christianity is not a bunch of sentimental claptrap about being in a better place. It's in fact a contention that this world we know isn't real in some sense at all, that we feel sadness and sorrow at death because our immortal souls know that the separation of our souls from our bodies is just wrong, and that things won't be right again until that separation is reversed. If you don't believe in the resurrection of the body, you're not actually a Christian. Christ rose from the dead to defeat death itself. This is what Easter is about.

Anyway, I had this thought: My resurrection hope has names and faces, more than it did before. As though every tear was a down payment toward joy in the life of the resurrection. This is grieving in hope. I know that it's messy and uneven at times, but then, so am I.

I felt like an idiot today, because I asked a friend how he was doing. I know he has reason to cry; it was a stupid question. But then, how am I doing? I don't even know. I just know that they're all supposed to be here, and they're not. I know this for sure: I want the Father to command the dead to rise, just as surely as He commands that we be delivered from eternal damnation, and counted among the flock of those He has chosen. It's the same reality; You only need forgiveness of sins if you're going to live forever. We're soft on sin, because we forget the stakes. Religion isn't that important to people, if the message is, "Learn to be nice, and good." Pete's sake, Tony Robbins could help you with that, or Oprah. You don't need a priest for all that. We know it, too. I don't blame the "nones," because we make Christianity trivial, and then wonder why people exchange our triviality for the Patriots, or The Real Housewives of Atlanta. I would, too.

I need to see their faces again. Every single person I have lost. The gift of faith is an amazing gift, but I was disposed to receive it, because at bottom, I refused to accept the idea that this life, and a meaning we make ourselves, is all there is. I have seen an inexpressible glory in their eyes, in their faces, and that glory is out of place here. Have you sensed that, too?