Saturday, February 07, 2009

showers and theology classes

There are a number of things in process in my life right now. Some relationships, some church stuff, some assignments, some minor home improvements, vacation plans, you know the kind of stuff I am talking about. When it clumps up like this, it leaves me feeling unsettled sometimes, kind of empty. When too much is in flux and up in the air, it chips away at one's solidity, one's sense of security and safeness.

So this morning in the shower, I told God, "I feel empty."
And I heard an answer, "Empty? Like a tomb-on-resurrection-day empty?"
God is very funny some days.

Yesterday morning I was sitting in my Introduction to Theology class, and in the middle of a surprisingly interesting lecture on church history, I had a flash of insight.

Change is all about death and resurrection. Change is about being able to die over and over and over again. It is letting go of those things we already know and are familiar with and recognise, about saying good-bye to life as we know it. But more importantly, it is about hope. It is about being able to see that there is a way of living beyond this. There is life after death - it will be different - but it will be life. Jesus was different after the resurrection. His closest friends did not recognise him at first. They had really thought that he was the ONE to save them from bad things in their situation, but it all went so horribly wrong when he died. Death is like that - it looks like things have gone horribly wrong. But it only looks that way. God is never put off by death; he just uses it as raw material for resurrection.

Those times when I feel empty, like things are not working out, I am standing in the tomb. I am looking in the wrong place for life. I am looking for the remains of something old instead of a brand new body. I get stuck at the death part and don't move into resurrection. I know what the dying thing looked like and I have become attached to it, but the resurrected thing - I'm not so sure. It is different, strange, unfamiliar, and unsettling. I have a hard time seeing life beyond this unsettling place, but if I am to live, I must.

Welcome to the death and resurrection cycle. It will happen often, if I let it.

This is Tea investigating the orange juice this morning. She is very much alive. Not the same cat as before her illness, but definitely alive.

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