2012-04-13

You Are Risen

Four gospels, four stories -- four variations on the winding path toward arising.

In the Mark story, you encounter your fear. The powers that be are coming after you. If you try to reconnect with the part of you that feels separated, you fear you will be punished for it. You simply run. You tell no one. Yes, that’s a true story; that’s one way the story truly does unfold.

In the John story, you go in solitude to see the empty tomb – and no frightening or reassuring guy in white or angel is there. You return from the tomb and speak to some trusted others. You speak with a confidant, a teacher, a spiritual guide, who goes with you back to the tomb, and then leaves you there alone again, crying. Then you turn around, and there it is. Right there in front you – the wholeness that is your birthright. Even then, you mistake it for the gardener. But it calls your name:
“Mary!”
(or “Maria!” or “Jose!” “Arthur!” “Clarice!” “Chang!” “Laura!” "Ahmed!" whoever….)

Once I was in a one-on-one interview with a Zen teacher, and I was floundering with the koan he had given me. I see it this way, I see it that way, I was saying. He was looking at me decidedly unimpressed. Suddenly he interrupted my explanatory ramble with a shout:
“Meredith!”
Oh.
I saw it then. Called to myself, the emptiness of the tomb vivid, the point of the koan was suddenly clear.

So the banished part of you calls your name, and in that moment it is realized. That's a true story.

The Easter story is that if you go and look, you will discover a possibility of new life, new connection with a part of you that you thought was dead.

In the Matthew story, you encounter enemies that discredit that story. They tell you that there is no new life for you discover. They have been bribed by their own needs for the comfort of the familiar status quo to say, “There is no transformation, there is no greater wholeness. Those parts of you that you need for wholeness were carried away in the night and will remain dead and gone from you.” But you know better. You have seen a new life that they cannot imagine. That’s a true story.

In the Luke story, it’s not your enemies but your friends. You go to speak to them about the discovery – this frightening yet promising new reality you have discovered. And they don’t believe you. Liberation? Wholeness? It is an idle tale, they think. And it’s OK that they think that. They have to see for themselves, as you have to see for yourself. You can’t take anybody’s word for it. That, too, is a true story.

You stand in the meadow, between the Golgotha hill of crucifixion and the cave of the tomb. You stand in that open field of transition, on the verge of discovery that the tomb of what you thought was dead in you is empty.

What’s the meadow for? What’s the metaphor? It is that open space from which you can step toward new life and new wholeness.

Happy Easter.

You are risen.

Amen.

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Part 6 of "What's the Meadow For?"
Previous: Part 5: "Go and Look"
Beginning: Part 1: "Easter Stories"