“Until we discover a new vision of the Savior, a savior who has risen out of our disappointments, we’ll never understand Easter.”
—Craig Barnes, Christian Century, March 13-20, 2002
After seeing the snow start to melt, the people coming outdoors on bikes, with dogs, walking together after the long season of indoors, I find this time of year it’s not hard to believe in resurrection.
It’s much, much harder in the dead of winter. In the dead of anything. How do we believe in resurrection there? But it is the places we are least able to hear the news of resurrection that we most need to hear it.
I am come to think that resurrection takes place not with a blast of trumpets shouting “Christ the Lord is risen today” amid the joyous songs of the faithful, but more the way it happens in the gospel of John: with a whole lot of running around, weeping beside a grave, and terrified people locking doors because they don’t have a blessed clue what is going on. That is how Easter begins. In the dark.
And that is how Easter still begins today—in our disappointments, in the death of dreams, in the exhausted depression that too much grief can bring. In those places, we are not surprised to find ourselves worried, confused, weeping in the dark. We are surprised to find every now and then that we are capable of hope, able to love others deeply enough to forget ourselves, able to experience comfort we-know-not-how, and able to go on living in spite of it. Resurrection hope may come as inconspicuously as the first shoot of green after a long gray-brown, but it is no less worth celebrating for its subtlety.