Tag Archives: resurrection

Left Undone…

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“Is that why you do it?” my husband asked.

I had gotten a large envelope from a friend who had found a few things of my fathers in a work file. His large handwriting looped smaller where he had run out of space. There was also a script and a program from a play he had done when we had been living in Florida. I had said something under my breath about wishing he were here to ask him about the school play.

I considered my husband’s question. Do I do drama because my Dad would be proud, because he would do it, because he’s not here to do it anymore?

I remembered after he died how I tried for a month or two to get on top of all the marketing for his self-published book, how I vacillated about painting the last bits of his painting. Something in me was a-flurry to finish what he had left undone. I still struggle with the idea of leaving things undone; but shouldn’t an artist, if they’re doing it right, be still working on something when they die? I had to stop. I didn’t have the heart necessary for the marketing. I left his painting to the few base layers of hue that makes it still, to this day, rather, a misty suggestion of a landscpe.

I decided I wouldn’t have been able to continue with drama fueled solely on the love my father had for it. But it was a healthy process to realize where some of the credit is due. My love of drama is my own but the habit of drama is something that has been built into me.

As I told the students in rehearsal, “A successful painting is interesting to look at. A successful sculpture is interesting to look at from every angle all the way around. A successful play is interesting to look at from every angle all the way around throughout the entire play, a sculptural collaboration of artists existing in a single moment of time.” I doubt the elementary students quite appreciated the image, but it explains what I love best about theatre.

I have never known a time when my Dad wasn’t rehearsing some production, when there weren’t curtains and call times to be planned for. My early years are marked by my sneaking backstage and begging to be onstage. My later years are marked by productions of my own and the productions I missed (My brother’s Nathan Detroit and his narrator from Our Town! It still stings a little bit to think about today.)

It feels natural to be on the roller coaster again. I do it because I love it. I do it because it’s a gift to give others. I do it because it’s a habit of creation that was built in me by my father. And I do it because it’s a habit I want to build in my own children, his grandchildren.

I miss him so much. But new things, even piddly little things like elementary school plays, are still coming out of his life.

And as far as actors go, my little one is showing promise… 😉

Trigger Warning: Contains Profanity…

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I told myself I’d write a blog post today. And all I can think about is my dear friend’s father, who is dying. Less than a month and the stupid tumor has stupidly doubled and is stupidly squatting all over his pancreas squishing the life and all possibility of treatment out of him.

And I am remembering when my Dad died, suddenly, with a phone call and a word to finalize it. After eight years I can watch the actions of the day with something solid and apathy-like in front of me acting as a filter. And they are all there, this family. I remember them standing next to us in the room, exclaiming out loud when we told them, crying with us seamlessly as one family.

I remember this man’s daughter coming to me in my backyard and saying the only thing in the whole week that was any help at all. “What the fuck?” she said. Exactly. What the fuck.

And my siblings are driving up right now, managers notified, half days taken. Our only plan is to walk in and stand with them because we have been stood with.

I find myself wondering how different it is, watching it happen, not knowing exactly how many days you will have to live in this limbo. When my Dad died the world stopped. The suddenness of it was gratifying to my grief. And the whole church showed up at the memorial. How gratifying that was. It was as it should be. The world should mourn with me.

I know what they will go through. Yet, I wonder at what they are going through. I want to bear witness to the life. I want to bear witness to the grief. I want to bear witness to the voice of Mary in me that cries, “If you had been here, Lord!”

And I bear witness to Jesus’ own tears. Because that is how the goodness of God was proven to me in that week. He wept. When my Dad died Jesus wept. There was no trite pat on my head. There was no image of a “Footprints” meme impressed into my brain. Jesus wept. He was with me.

Even now, Jesus nods with my husband when he says, “This is fucked.” Yes, fucked up. This isn’t how it was supposed to be at all.

Even though Jesus knows better than anyone that the resurrection is coming, that Lazarus will be walking out of that tomb in two hot minutes, still he weeps.

What the fuck? This isn’t how it was supposed to be at all.

Mother Mary Easter Monologue…

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I was there at the start. Jesus was my firstborn son. Before his blood was spilled for me mine spilled for him. Before his body broke for me, mine tore for him. My son. His life changed mine first. I was the first miracle.

And how could I be under the delusion that he was mine? Angels announced his birth to shepherds. A star led kings halfway around the world. He was for Israel, for the world.

But who would believe? Doesn’t every mother think her first-born walks on water? So I treasured these things in my heart, storing away the portents.

I was there when every prophecy came true, born of David, coming out of Egypt, of Nazareth in Galilee. Every truth buried here (heart).

And when we lost him in Jerusalem… For three days we misplaced the son of God. “Didn’t you know I would be in my father’s house”, the words of God from my son’s lips. “He is not yours precious Mary, he is mine. Remember he is mine.”

We waited thirty years for his time. And then it came in a flood. Miracle by miracle adding testimony to the years of evidence, here (heart).

Hadn’t I always believed, me, the first apostle? He was the Messiah.

Never mine, not from the beginning. He was God’s to spend.
But when they nailed him… When my son let them nail him to the cross…

I watched him die, in agony, under a criminal’s shame. If his father above, Creator of the heavens, feels a shadow of my pain why does he not save him? Why?! I cannot bear it! I’ve changed my mind, God, select another. Must I bear witness to this, too? My heart is full, Lord, my heart is full!

I spent three days in a mother’s grief. And then we went to dress my son’s body for the last time.

There’s nothing that gets old about seeing an angel. I’ve seen two in my life. The first told me I would have a son. The second told me I had a savior.

Would anything less than falling at his feet, feeling the warmth of his life, the strength in his hands, his glorious smell, would anything less prove my son’s living to me? My heart is full, Jehovah God, my heart is full!

I had a lifetime, my son’s lifetime, of proof giving testimony. The Messiah had come. Death had been conquered by one sacrifice for sin for all time. Israel’s need had nailed him to that cross. My need had nailed him to that cross.

He was my son, he was my savior. He was never mine. But he was for me.

Christ is Risen…

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Christ is risen!

I spread the white tablecloth last night, a particular sacrifice when I know jam, strawberries, and chocolates are the order for breakfast. I made flaky orange scones studded with cranberries which are a tradition I’ve adopted from my husband’s childhood. There was a smattering of jelly beans across the tablecloth and in the middle I placed our lent box, cross upright, black cloth banished.

Happy Easter!

Easter Sunday: He is Risen Indeed!

Where to find it:
A Child’s First Bible: p.232
Jesus Storybook Bible: p.310 “God’s wonderful surprise”
Bible: Luke 24:1-9

Reading:
Today is Easter Sunday. Do you remember how happy God was when his baby son was born, he told everyone! He sent angels to the shepherds and a star to the wiseman. On Easter morning he sent an angel again. The angel gave them the good news, “He is not here, he is risen just as he said!” And then Jesus himself went to his friends. He even ate breakfast with them to show them that he was really alive again. Jesus had beaten death, and death couldn’t win anymore where Jesus was. Just like death cannot hold you when you have Jesus in you.

There is a special thing we say on Easter morning. We say it three times, once for each day that Jesus lay dead in the tomb. I say “Christ is Risen!” and you respond with “He is risen indeed!” Let’s do it now!

“Christ is risen!”
“He is risen indeed!”
“Christ is risen!”
“He is risen indeed!”
“Christ is risen!”
“He is risen indeed!”

Lent box activity:
The black item over the cross can be removed prior to Sunday morning. When the morning dawns the purple cloth or construction paper sash is already over the cross. If you like, you can take turns tracing the path from the Nativity to the cross past the tokens in their order.

Beginning questions:
What’s your favorite part of the Easter story?
What’s the most confusing part of the Easter story?

More questions:
What is the part of the Easter story that’s the hardest to believe?

Family question:
What is our best family Easter tradition?

Family Activity:
Go to Easter services and rejoice!

Family Prayer:
“Risen Lord, thank you for beating death. Thank you for your rescue plan that lets us be close to you again. Thank you for living in our hearts so that we do not need to fear any more. Help us to know that when you look at us you see Jesus. Thank you for being our brother, Jesus. Thank you for being our Father, God. Praise the Lord! He is risen indeed! Amen”

Holy Saturday…

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Happy Holy Saturday to you all. I have a friend who takes down all the paintings in her front room on Good Friday. She removes all the beauty. On Easter morning they all get put back up. We did our Good Friday activity last night and laid a black cloth over our Lent box … until tomorrow.

Holy Saturday: Prayer in the Darkness

Where to find it:
A Child’s First Bible: p.226 (Peter’s Denial)
Jesus Storybook Bible: There is no story for this lesson. You can read just p.326, the first page of “God sends help” which is the intro to Pentecost.
Bible: Matthew 26:56, Mathew 26:69-75

Reading:
Today is Holy Saturday. Jesus died and was buried in the tomb. His followers scattered. His apostles hid in a dark room and cried. They were terribly sad. Their friend Jesus had died. They didn’t understand. Where had God’s amazing rescue plan gone? They were supposed to be saved, weren’t they? And now what? They were too sad and too scared to eat or sleep. So, they waited in the darkness, praying.

Lent box activity:
Have a family member place the tea light or small candle in the sand. Have a parent light the candle before you pray.

Beginning question:
When have you felt sad or scared?

More questions:
Have you ever been too sad or scared to eat or sleep?
Is there any part of you that feels like it is hiding in darkness?

Family question:
What was the best part and hardest part of Lent this year?

Family Activity:
Take an extra special time to pray. Pray for each family member in their spots of darkness. Ask that Jesus would bring light into these dark places. If you like, you could go to bed in darkness to prepare yourselves for the light of Easter morning.

Pray as a family:
“Dear Heavenly Father we thank you that you will not leave us sad or scared forever. We thank you that you have come to make all the sad things come undone. We pray that your beauty and new life would come quickly to us. We ask that your kingdom would come to our hearts and make them new. We ask that your kingdom would come to the Earth and make all creation new again, like it was in the beginning. Thank you for this promise, Amen.”