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EASTER: thoughts on dying, waiting and rising

Our spiritual lives reflect the rhythms of the Easter story, I believe. The passion narrative moves sequentially from dying to waiting to rising. I am most interested in rising. Rising above whatever moment or challenge is in the way of the life I long to live. So I focus on anything resembling life, on my definition of rising. And I forget that before rising comes dying and waiting, arguably less inspiring ways to find life.

But a new life, a new way of life always requires a death of sorts. Not in the literal sense typically. But to receive the new, you must release the old. You cannot hold the old and grasp the new too. The old must die, pass away, make room for the new. I vividly remember sitting down to nurse my newborn son AGAIN, a decade ago, thinking life as I know it is over. And it was. My active lifestyle of skiing/hiking/biking all day whenever I wanted died right there. (still waiting for a rising of that part of my life:)

In the spiritual life I am invited to embrace a yielding up of that which once mattered greatly to me. Death is painful and intuitively opposed yet it’s a part of the divine rhythm I am invited into.   Death involves a letting go of my attachments to be in control. It challenges and grows my faith in ways few other things can. I die to expectations and selfishness to pride and anger. It’s the hardest part of the spiritual rhythm to feel grateful for.

After death comes waiting and that’s not super-fun either. I rarely wait gracefully. Impatient by nature, I long to know what’s next. Not knowing what’s next makes my wait wide open space for fear or anxiety. But my wait precedes the rise and I cannot afford to gloss over the invitation to sit and wait. It’s not idle, wasted time apparently but a natural process of the spiritual life. My life provides ample space to wait. I wait to know if my kids behavior is normal and age appropriate or abnormal and perhaps something I should do something about. I wait to hear what’s next in my ministry. I wait in anger and wonder if anger will always be a part of my life. I wait confused because I don’t see all the details I think I need for x,y and z to make sense. But the wait, it’s a part of the spiritual life as important as the rise. I want to rise, so I wait. 

At last I rise, stand to my feet in places I never dreamed I would be. I rise when my heart allows me to feel love. I rise, at midnight and write because it’s a part of my calling I am too awake to ignore it. I rise when I turn the other cheek, offer unexpected kindness amidst awkward marital interaction. I rise when I risk to speak on behalf of those you don’t and can’t. I rise in every place I sense love and mercy pouring from my broken life but a greater source. I rise when I release my judgement and pray a blessing over someone.

The rhythm of dying, waiting, rising is a continuous flow of the Christ life in us. There are no neat lines of separation, no predictable sequence you can squeeze part of your story into. Just an invitation to experience the mysterious, glorious fusion of simultaneously dying, waiting and rising to the new life given from above.

For we who are alive are constantly being handed over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our mortal body.” 2 Cor 4:11 [NET]

Happy Easter! With all our love.

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4 Replies

  1. So good. I wait. I rise. Amen. Your neighbor at Ra Ra Linkup!

    1. Astrid Melton

      Thanks for stopping by, Nannette.

  2. “The rhythm of dying, waiting, rising is a continuous flow of the Christ life in us. There are no neat lines of separation, no predictable sequence you can squeeze part of your story into.” Beautiful words Astrid. It is so true. Keep on speaking beauty to us all! Cheering you on from the #RaRalinkup on Purposeful Faith.

    1. Astrid Melton

      Thanks friend.

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