Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Unwrapping My Grave Cloths

Every time it happens, every single stinking time that I go to battle for another piece of my soul, another piece of myself, of my faith, I'm caught off guard. This battle takes more and more from me. Each round, each fight, each piece of this war leaves me more weary and raw than I was before.

I think the forgetting is necessary. If I remembered in detail what this looked like, I would never strap my armour back on and step up to the line. I've been thinking about resurrection, about how that looks now that I'm facing another round of this battle against my past ruling my present and dictating my future.

I don't connect emotionally to Jesus' resurrection. Intellectually I'm grateful for it, emotionally I wander around it. In having the freedom to pursue my faith for myself, free of the restrictions of the past, everything comes into question. My relationship with the Divine is secure enough to withstand this process. I'm not going to "lose my faith." In fact it's quite the opposite. I'm on a journey to find what it looks like for me.  I'm grateful that I don't feel guilt around my struggle. It's not something that I quite know how to talk about yet. What I have been taught about Easter weekend sounds like abuse and gets all tangled up in the past. My therapist made a comment today that I can't connect with the resurrection after Jesus' death because that's not my story. There was no three days later, no miraculous intervention. I was tortured, destroyed, and who I was died. There was no resurrection. There's only this battle to unearth each piece of me and bring it with trembling to the One who breathes life back into these dead bones of mine.

It's in this that my heart is captured by Lazarus' resurrection. It was messy. It wasn't a pristine empty tomb. He emerged as commanded, alive, but still entombed in his grave wrappings. Wrappings stained with oils, spices, and bodily decomposition. His body once wrapped by love that showed up as grief. His body now unwrapped by love that showed up as joy.

I am Lazarus. What was once dead in me has come alive. I am still bound though in so many places by these grave wrappings. It's a process of peeling them away, first from my face so that I can breathe and take the water and food offered to me by the hands of others. One layer at a time, one part at a time, I am being unwrapped. Sometimes I forget that, when all I can smell is my death wrappings that still cling to my body. I get impatient, desperate, frantic to be free. I was wrapped deliberately, intentionally, my unwrapping must be the same.

It's not an easy process, to be unwrapped. It's not a process that has a cultural parallel. It's different, strange, unfamiliar. There isn't a road map for this part of the journey. It is as unique as the individual being unwrapped. There's a duality to it. A necessary standing still to be unwrapped by the hands of Love. A fighting to reclaim what has been tainted and stolen. It's freedom for my rule-bound soul - and terrifying at the same time. I want a clear path through this. I want people who have walked before me on this journey. I want, I want, I want. Yet my soul is learning to trust that what I need will be provided, even when I cannot know what that need is or how it could be met.

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