Obscure Escape Hatch
We’ve all suffered minor crucifixions.
People let us down and are unkind
our honest, open-hearted hope is dashed
we are no longer needed or are too threatening
we are misunderstood and not appreciated
we are imposed with a looming ending
then ruthlessly pierced hand and foot
and left out to bleed dry.
We brood in dank sepulchers, shrouded in darkness,
festering alone behind suffocating boulders blocking progress
when an unlikely shard of angel light squeaks in
breathing life back into us, imperceptibly, over hours and days.
Does Love always conquer hate?
Does Truth trounce over error every time?
It is no miracle that we wonder
when rivers of tears have been rightly shed.
There’s that movie set in a prison camp
where the shovels are counted and one is missing
so the guards threaten
for the thief to reveal himself or they’ll kill all the inmates.
Eventually, one meekly steps forward to accept the guilt
– and is immediately slain –
before they recount the shovels
and realize that they were all there after all.
(But if a decoy takes the fatal hit to spare another, does it survive unscathed?)
I used to teach my kids that the meaning of Easter is
that Jesus came to show us that we live forever
even though I was brought up instead
on chocolate bunnies and jelly beans
but it is that and more…
It is dawn after the darkest hour
It is not defending oneself regardless of what is at stake
It is finding trust and confidence in a future we can’t see or comprehend
It is an example of selflessness that dubiously pays off
It is daffodil days after a cold winter’s blast
It is victory ordained against all odds
It is totally difficult but apparently not as impossible as it seems
It is certainly beyond what I can know for sure
But I don’t think God is a prison guard that miscounts the shovels,
and I don’t want anyone to need to die for me.
All those inmates were as innocent of that crime as he was,
but we’re left behind, contritely constrained to do more dogged digging.
The resurrection story requires
Life mercifully overcoming death
resuscitating us each time we feel beaten up, cast down,
or entombed by hopelessness and dead-end prospects.
We try to climb through this obscure escape hatch
to an eternal paradise prepared for us
in that elusive but promised kingdom of heaven, within us,
which bursts forth exploding our every current impasse
while somehow asserting that it will all work out and be okay.