Christians talk about being Easter people—living in the hope given to us through Christ’s resurrection.
Over and over again I seek to live as an Easter person—an Easter mother, wife, sister, friend. Over and over again I rise up with good intentions and I somehow fail to find my way out of the tomb. It’s like Groundhog Day.
I could probably name 100 reasons as to why I do this. But, to be honest I think I’m just afraid of what’s on the other side of that stone. I know that what’s out there—what God’s going to call me to do next—will be new, it will stretch me and I just want to rest in my comfortable space even if it is a tomb.
And so over and over I commit and recommit. I fail and I fall. And each time a hand reaches out to lift me. I bat it away, like my kids who tell me they can do so many things by themselves. I let them try and stand by for when they call for help.
This is what God does. God is there, waiting for me to stop trying to roll away the stone by myself. I’ve worn myself out.
Anne Lamott writes about shopping with her best friend, Pammy, shortly before her death. Anne was picking out a dress and worried about how it looked on her. Anne’s dying friend replied, “Anne, you don’t have that kind of time.”
Anne connects this with Easter:
And I think Easter has been about the resonance of that simple statement; and that when I stop, when I go into contemplation and meditation, when I breathe again and do the sacred action of plopping and hanging my head and being done with my own agenda, I hear that, “You don’t have that kind of time,” you have time only to cultivate presence and authenticity and service, praying against all odds to get your sense of humor back.
I don’t have that kind of time—to hang out in that comfy tomb. Life beckons. The One who made me for a purpose filled with hope, beckons. And so once again I rise and this time I ask for help.
Just as Jesus called into his friend’s tomb, “Lazarus, come out!” He calls, “Michelle, come out!” He calls to you and to me to rise above what is holding us back. To be healed. To be restored. To overcome that which that keeps us from being Easter people, living with the knowledge and hope and love that only God can give.
It is Easter. Again and again it is Easter. Praise God.