Approx. read time: 2:10 min.
I am thinking, today, of a moment in human history that was never actually witnessed, never recorded. Yet an event recounted down through the ages, launching a transformation of human consciousness.
I am thinking of the moment of Jesus’ resurrection from the tomb.
In the dark that precedes the dawn, that liminal moment which is the threshold of everything, something occurred which shifts the landscape of heart and soul and imagination.
The One who was dead now emerges—not to a resuscitated life but to life which has passed beyond the veil that veils all things, invisible yet deeply present among us.
He lives! we say with renewed hope.
Yet let’s be honest. Our world continues on in darkness, anguish. And also in hope.
For us of Christian faith, we intuit deeply and trust mightily that death will never have the final word. That injustice and cruelty in all its forms will never have the final word.
So I am thinking of the piece I wrote sometime back, called “Rise, and be beautiful!” I’d like to pick up the thread of prayer that runs through it …
From under my eave I think, too, of the world’s anguish. The many forms of anguish that were never meant to be, born of injustice and neglect, greed and abandonment of every sort, deforming and diminishing what was created for loveliness, and fruitfulness, and the flourishing of life.
It’s this world I have in mind now as I pray, “Rise, and be beautiful.” I yearn to nudge this world into a place of promise, and faithfulness to promise, and peace. …
I need—I deeply, deeply need—the beauty of this spring. I yearn for beauty to free me of the chaos and fear and division of the times in which I live, free of the spirit of unsettledness and confusion that seem to shape our days, alone and together.
I need the beauty of my favorite plum tree to minister to my soul. I need the beauty of my neighbor’s lilac blooms cascading in fragrant clusters over the fence.
I need the beauty of birds busy in the nesting season, Mother and Father Towhee who hide in the lavender bush, the community of golden crown sparrows who perch in the hedge of mock orange and wild roses. …
I want all Creation to rightly praise the Creator. I want this kind of world, where praise is free to rise up from all the Earth.
Rise, I say, rise, and be beautiful.
This phrase—Rise, and be beautiful!—is an Easter phrase. Please receive it as my Easter gift to you.
It is the beautiful and simple prayer that calls forth the dignity and grace and worthy purpose at the core of your being. At the core, really, of everything.
Let me know your thoughts!