Wednesday, April 27, 2011

When Resurrection Waits.

I don't quite know how to describe the last few days. Suffice it to say, Easter hasn't quite hit me yet. For all the preparations that I've made and all the goodness I know I should be feeling, I am at a loss. Sunday morning came. The tomb was empty and I have yet to bear witness to the Resurrection.

The last few weeks have been crazy and so it is little wonder that Easter has not brought much change. Instead the turmoil of having traveled twelve hours to a funeral with a community mate, of a misguided trip to the Emergency Room with a client, of allowing life to come together after June, and of bruises from a bike wipe-out has left me much more in the waiting of Holy Saturday than the exaltation of Easter Sunday. And even though each day poses the opportunity for new life, still it feels as if Resurrection is off waiting in the wings somewhere.

Having mentioned all this to a friend yesterday, she glumly remarked "Maybe tomorrow will be Resurrection..."

And, for some reason, what should have been a harrowing statement made me smile.

"Maybe tomorrow." I thought to myself. "There is hope." Such a simple sentiment was resurrection enough for me.

Today as I moved through my day, Resurrection still waited but the turmoil didn't seem quite as tumultuous. The waiting isn't over but I found people to wait with.

Like the women outside the tomb, Joyce had done her share of weeping. The victim of domestic abuse and assault, she had left everything she knew and owned to the man that had emotionally held her captive for years. He burned her clothes. He took out debits in her name. He threatened to throw her out a third floor window. She finally left. Now she's trying to rebuild her life.

I don't exactly know how she got my number. Joyce is from an area that doesn't fall in our parish jurisdiction (far from it) but she wouldn't stop calling. After she hit it off with a volunteer I had call her to set up a home visit, I knew I had to go. Bruised and bandaged I showed up at the gate of the Colonial Gardens apartments, a three-story U-shaped brick building off of a busy thoroughfare. As she let me in the gate, the outside noise all but disappeared, the complex acting as its own sound buffer. First we toured Joyce's empty apartment and then we headed to her sister's place across the way. There we sat and as I filled out a voucher for furniture she told me her story.

She'd lost everything through bad choices and choices beyond her control. Lots of things that should have stood in her way did. In many ways, the road ahead of her is just as long as the one behind her. A cancer survivor, Joyce proudly told me how she'd beat the disease once, but now it seemed it was back in a different part of her body. She denied that this could be true and even though a biopsy at UPenn had found cancerous cells, she wanted a second opinion.

Really, she wanted hope.

She confided in me that she knew it would have to be taken care of but she wanted to make sure she had everything in order before she got any medical treatment. She wanted a house, her own place, to come back to after she was in the hospital. That's why I was there. I gave her a voucher and explained that as soon as she could find a van/truck she could pick up the furniture she needed to enable her to set up her own place. In a way, I was able to say "There is Hope."

That is the root of resurrection. Hope shattered brought tears at the tomb. Hope frightened sent friends to a hidden room. Hope that 'maybe tomorrow' is enough for me to open my eyes to what I'm dearly waiting for.


  1. A very beautiful post, Colleen. Much to think about, much to acknowledge...
    Blessings on you and Joyce.

  2. Sometimes I think there's a reason Easter lasts for 50 days. Those post-resurrection stories keep showing Jesus showing up where they'd gone back to work, back to life-before. Took them a while to figure it out.

    Thank you for sharing this part of the journey. I'll be keeping you with me through the day.

  3. How true, Shannon... the disciples didn't get it right away; they continued the journey and continued on until they realized the Resurrected before them. We can't make ourselves realize, we can just wait until our eyes are opened.

    Peace to both of you, claire & Shannon.