Letting the Easter Light In
I am wondering, how did your list of words that describe and define “you” go yesterday? Is the page full? Do some of the words make you smile? For example, I wrote down, “competitive Uno player.” Yes, that is a challenge at some point for you and I to play a game! Do some of the words you wrote make you cringe? Like when I wrote down “perfectionism” yesterday. It’s okay…it isn’t like I am confessing this shadow side of myself online where the whole world could access it, I say sarcastically. This invitation to describe and define yourself is not just one and done. Hold that paper. Keep coming back to it today and adding new insights and ideas. I pray you might pay attention today to your own responses, reactions, and how this might awaken new words for you to write down. Try at dinner time, as you review your day, to think back upon three experiences and what those might teach and tell you about you!
As you add to your page, continue to affirm the truth that God loves you. God loves you from the top of your head to your pinkie toe. There is not a part of you God does embrace and enfold with love, even (or I should say especially) the parts we do hide from others and ourselves. Go through the list, circle the words that bring a smile to your face. Put a square around the ones even now you wish you had not written down.
We name and notice the “you” you hide so that we can bring our full self out into God’s Easter light. Like the women at the tomb, who are willing to go into the dark, damp cave to experience God’s light of love. We too are invited to go into our own caves of ourselves to see what God is up to in the beauty and brokenness – the variety of parts that come together to make each of us who we are. Throughout scripture God doesn’t call the best and brightest. God calls people who had struggles and stumbles. God called Abraham and Sarah, not as rising young stars, but as two beloved people whose AARP cards were torn and worn. God called Moses (who had some anger issues and who was on a wanted poster for killing a guard) to set people free. God called Jonah, who ran in the opposite way from Nineveh. Jesus called twelve disciples who didn’t always understand his teaching/preaching; sold him out; scattered when the going got tough; and stood as far away as possible at the cross – when Jesus needed them the most. Suddenly, my lists of less-than-desirable qualities does not seem so bad.
You and I can be honest about what is in our lives in the season of Easter. The more vulnerable we are willing to be can open us to the truth of God’s love even embracing our brokenness – which can also help us be empathic to others brokenness. Hold this truth in the marvelous; mysterious light of Easter today.
Prayer: Holy One, meet me in the messiness of my life with meaning. Amen.