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Write it on your heart
That every today is the
Best day of the year
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Does knowing that we’re going to die make for better living?

Imagine seeing everything you know for the last time. Walking up the back steps that finally had to be replaced, wood damp from a light morning rain, and you notice the rose bush buried in burlap. You wonder if there will be buds, as

A fat squirrel twitches and the cat you call cuddle-bird, coos and flirts from inside the window.

Entering the room where decades of voices, music—the sharps and the flats—laughter’s tickle, tear drops, songs and silence swell, and you sense they are all absorbed in these walls, the floorboards and rafters, while time seemed endless, and now is.

I have a helpless hunger,
I have a hopeful thirst,
I have a longing to escape the rules.
(They say, you’re not supposed to start sentences with too many Is. It alienates the reader, they say. I don’t intend to do that. ) I left a religion while looking for one because of rules.

Leaving it,
Returning to it,
Leaving and returning to it.
(They also say not to end a sentence with it.) But it was never about it.

It was always about who.

Where did this faith come from and why? It came when I came to understand that it was never about a religion.

It was always about a resurrection.

It was never about it, but all about who, the One who showed us it could be done—

This dying and rising,
loving and losing and gaining.

I need only to see the sun set and rise again to understand,

So can I.

Have you come to the end of yourself?

Imagine infinity intersecting with the finite right here in this place where you stand for maybe the five-thousand-seven-hundred forty-fifth time, when you are at last released from self’s contradictions and steely condemnations.

When I thought I had waited too long to come in, that the coffers were empty, he reminded me of the parable about the workers, when the one who came last received the most. Grace.

When I thought I was too poor in spirit and wisdom, ability and talent, he reminded me of the poor widow who gave the smallest amount then received the most. Honor.

When I struggled to believe in my own ordinary nature in an extra-ordinary Savior, he reminded me of his super-natural love, extending beyond time itself. Mystery.

You are in this place, this wild and wonderful place, where time and eternity meet, where repentance brings peace,

Where vertical and horizontal stand together erect,

Grounded deeply, stretching wide, reaching high.

You are in the One whose life overcame, and still overcomes death.

Oh the grace of grief released.

When brilliance surpassing high noon fit into a baby wet with blood of the birth, the lights of the heavens, sun, moon and stars, were lassoed in the flesh, the breath of every living thing before and beyond filled those lungs.

Oh crazy, wild, wonderful Savior, break me open and fill me with you, with your eternal breath.

Only through the risen One can we die in order to finally live.

Removing the burlap from the rose bush just lately yet layered in frozen weight of winter’s snow, I see. It now buds.

Oh, trampled Rose, you show me. You know. It is best to learn how to die while living.

Bradford Beach, April 10, 2022

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