Turns out that all it takes to snap your back at the base is just a turning and a bending over to pick up a book.
Turns out ‘safe’ isn’t a place you live at — but a Person you live in.
Pleated there at the window, trying to straighten the back out again, trying to unfold upright again, I could see it —
Snow falling, falling down in the orchard, falling on the apple trees leafing out this hopeful green.
Three days after the stone rolled away and all these clanking skeletons fell out of the proverbial closet and God alone walked out alive, there’s snow right out there on the apple tree’s leaves.
And all this talk of new life can feel like an old joke and the Easter people can feel right broken.
The robin there in the snow, he bobs confused.
That’s what the Farmer had read the day after Easter, his grease-grooved finger underlining the words at very end of the book of Mark, the end of chapter 16 :
“And these signs will accompany those who believe:
In my name they will drive out demons;
they will speak in new tongues;
they will pick up snakes with their hands;
and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all.”
It’s an Easter earthquake right here.
“Are those the signs of the Easter people?” I had asked the Farmer that, him bowed over the Word. The whole turning world turned right upside down when that stone turned back — and who can now turn back?
“I’ve never seen any of those signs.”
That’s what Levi had said, sitting there at the end of the table.
He’d half turned towards the window, telling us, but not facing us, not letting our eyes mirror his, because sometimes when we voice doubts we have to turn away from even facing ourselves.
Levi looks out the window.
My own voice speaks soft, slow, surprising me.
“Levi… what if you throw out the demons of selfishness?
Or you speak in the tongues of grace?
Or when you were pierced with rejection and malice, just like a snake bite, you forgave — and forgiveness inoculated you from the hurt….”
Levi had turned to me, hopeful, ready to face hope. “Is that what it means?”
I smile…. “Is that what it means?” That — and the wonders of the early church, wonders happening around the world today, and here, resurrection in us. Who packs up Easter when it’s now just time to unpack Easter?
Because isn’t the point to now merely raise hands and celebrate His resurrection power — but to turn the feet and walk in it?
Malakai, he announces it at the table, that he’s been pouring water into the tray of the incubator in the basement, waiting for a resurrection power in the basement.
He’s been making note that the humidity is right at 62% and he asks us, “Want to see my chart?”
“Are you turning the eggs?” I sit stiff in my chair, trying to hold my spine still, painless.
“They have to turn. The incubator has this little motor and it just keeps turning the eggs over.”
Three times a day, the incubator turns the eggs on its own, like a planet on an axis.
Three times a day, this turning of everything right upside down and all new life only comes from a complete revolution.
The turning upside down of everything can simply be the beginning of turning a new leaf.
The midwife waits for the babe to turn upside down; the farmer turns over the earth and pushes a seed down so it will grow up. Upside down can be right side up…
And maybe the bending and the breaking and everything being up turned is the sign of new life about to break forth.
What had Chesterton had said?
“The fatal metaphor of progress, which means leaving things behind us, has utterly obscured the real idea of growth — which means leaving things inside us.”
The real idea of growth is not leaving things behind us, but leaving things inside us — Easter and resurrection and the bent Lord and risen King and this is how we rise up in a turned-upside down world.
I’m leaving Easter out — inside.
“Friday…” Malakai tells us. “Friday, I’ll candle the eggs to see if there are any signs of life inside.”
“Looks like we could plant Friday too.” The Farmer pushes his chair back from the table. “It’s supposed to warm right up and this skiff of snow’ll be gone. Amazing how fast things can turn.”
Malakai smiles, puts his arm around his dad, all this strange hope.
And I get up slow to clear off the table, and I bend my spine backwards, stretching it back, bending it to straighten it, the turning that hurts to heal, and the snow —
it melts out there in the orchard.
The apple leaves turning out all these dauntless petals of promise….
Every Wednesday, we Walk with Him, posting a spiritual practice that draws us nearer to His heart.To read the entire series of spiritual practices
This week and the following 2 weeks, might we consider: The Practice of Resurrection. We look forward to your thoughts, stories, ideas….
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