Resurrection. How often have I uttered this word without considering seriously how this might be manifested? Am I going to be happily driving to work one day singing along to Selena Gomez when suddenly all those who have died before me begin to climb out of giant, fiery cracks in the earth, entirely presided over by a Judgmental Jesus attired in the fashion of first century Palestine? Perhaps one day God will have grown weary of our larking and hijinks and chastise us, “Now come on you guys, you know that’s not what I meant!” Perhaps Jesus Christ, and all those who have died before us are with us already…right now…and the moment of resurrection is when this is made visible to us and we are granted the capacity to understand. The possibilities are truly awesome.
We could speculate until the last day (some with great certainty) about how resurrection will look according to our Christian understanding, but ultimately I believe we cannot know, especially since it has been my personal experience that the more certain I become about how God works in my life, the greater the inevitable plunge from my pedestal. I do not doubt The Resurrection, but I am rather open to the infinite possibilities. When addressing confirmation candidates in his homilies, Bishop André Richard used to say the Holy Spirit works in our lives in unexpected and surprising ways. So, I think what I can be certain of is it will look entirely unlike however I imagine it in my human brain.
What I can do, and love doing in fact, is to reflect on the moments of resurrection in my life since 1973, and once I started to consider the times I have “risen from the dead”, I noticed it showed up again and again. If, as St. Augustine stated, “we are an Easter people”, then perhaps I should be seeing evidence of resurrection everywhere I look. What have I been told by others when they witnessed me stumbling through darkness, those times when I have found myself laying cold and naked on the floor? “You will come out of this,” or “There’s a light at the end of the tunnel,” or “You will rise from these ashes.”
I experience a recurring dream where I am lifted from the ground by a tornado-like twister and tossed and tumbled around inside, much like Dorothy (and Toto too) in The Wizard of Oz. In my dream, during this tumble cycle, I experience a whirlwind of darkness, fear, and uncertainty, only to be spat out onto the ground in an unfamiliar place free from the fear and darkness I experienced inside the twister. Each time after being tossed from the storm, I feel refreshed, rejuvenated, and awake. There are no ruby slippers, witches, or Lollipop Guild, but each time I awake from having this dream, I feel comforted, relief, gratitude, and awe. I feel undeniably as though I have come out of darkness to take on an unfamiliar form, and while I may worry about what is not known, my hope in the resurrection, however that may look, is greater.