“A rising again, as from decay, disuse, etc.; revival.” Thus is the definition I found in my on-line dictionary for the term resurrection.
When I think of living a resurrected life I think about the compost heap we used to have behind our garage in Indiana. A hybrid squash which was a cross between a pumpkin and I’m not sure what grew out of that pile of coffee grounds, egg shells, grass clippings and various vegetable scraps. We did not trust what IT was and did not eat it. (Sad now that I am remembering it). The vine it was attached to was a long thick curly thing that poked through the chicken wire in a couple different places, one included the fruit.
Anxious to use the “good soil” from our compost we had a three by three-foot frame with a quarter-inch square mesh screen attached that we shoveled and sifted the usable compost through and into a wheel barrel. The un-composted compost was dumped back on the pile to live another day. We grew some mighty fine veggies in that dirt. But that rogue squash was my best memory from our “garden”.
So, what’s the point?
My “resurrected life” is something like that squash–two parts feminist, three parts humanitarian, a dash of idealist, dreamer, educator, and problem solver; shake it all up, add a little art and debate for flavor and pour it on top of a conservative pot pie. What do you get? Something no one wants to eat.
Change is hard. And coming back from being dead is real hard. But resurrection is the trail Jesus blazed and so it is the path I want to walk. The parts of who I have been in the past that I long to see full awakened again are the parts that rooted for the underdog, always believed the best about people, loved to play and be creative, thought everyone had value and no one should be left out, knew grades did not matter much but learning did, and liked camping.
Some of the other parts of me I see arousing more and more are sometimes less exciting. For example, I do not mind being seen as critical, if by critical one means discerning. Yet I am not too interested if it translates as negative. I do not mind the label tenacious if by tenacious one means fearless, adventuresome, or persevering. But I would just as soon not be known as pig-headed or dogmatic.
The most difficult factor of my personal revival is facing the anger I stuffed for such a long time. Often I feel like I have been deaf, dumb, and blind for most of my adult life. So much is churning beneath the surface I am reluctant to take the lid off for fear I might release a tidal wave of destruction. Since the reason I buried it to begin with was to avoid hurting the people I love I have a powerful motivation for keeping the anger stuffed. Still, being closed and inaccessible is not really the answer either.
The gospels show us a Jesus who continuously told the people around Him, “The Kingdom of God is at hand.” If those of us who want to follow Him are ever going to see His Kingdom manifest we need to start walking resurrected lives. We need to start letting our angers–our passion to fight injustice, our distaste for inequality, our hunger for peace–inform our choices and drive our behavior. We need to not be complicit with systems which abuse or abandon those they are meant to protect and serve. At the same time, in so far as we are able, we are to live at peace with one another.
This month’s Synchroblog (of which this post was originally going to be a part) asked the question: Do you live under a rock? The point was to speak about what it means to walk out the resurrection. Here is a list of other bloggers who have addressed this question much more eloquently than I. Enjoy!
Phil Wyman at Square No More – Apocalyptic fervor spurs benevolent giving