Trusting in Wild Hopes for New Life

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March 29, 2024

From the perspective of an acorn, it is a wild hope to become a strong, towering oak tree. How does it happen? There is a life energy within the seed that meets the life energies outside of the seed. Life, death and new life is the pattern in the natural world. We are part of nature and yet it is surprising and breath-taking to understand the pattern’s implications in every area of our lives. Instead of seeing hopes for new life we identify more readily with death.

We experience “death,” for example, as broken dreams, betrayal in relationships, loss of reputation, failure to live up to our expectations for ourselves, separation from loved ones and physical death. We have all experienced such losses and can identify with them. However, most of us have trouble believing in resurrection. In these times of significant changes, loss or death, our finite imaginations cannot grasp what could be life-giving in the future.

A towering oak tree would seem impossible from the perspective of an acorn. And, on the Friday that Jesus was crucified it was impossible for Jesus’ followers to imagine there would be an Easter Sunday.  So it is with us. In our times of suffering and loss we have to cling tenaciously to the certain knowledge that there will be an “Easter Sunday” and the new life will be more amazing and better than we could have imagined. 

For many people the crucifix, that is the cross with Jesus on it, speaks of the love of God which makes God present to us in our suffering.

Others prefer the icon of the empty cross – because the pain, suffering and death of Jesus was not the last word. The Resurrection of Jesus gives meaning to the death of Jesus on the cross. In the words of Franciscan Richard Rohr “The soul is always freed and formed through dying and rising. Indigenous religions speak of winter and summer; mystics speak of darkness and light; Eastern religions speak of yin and yang or the Tao. Some Christians call it the paschal mystery, and Catholics proclaim this publicly at every Eucharist as “the mystery of faith.” (1)

This weekend I celebrate Easter, not just as an event that happened 2000 years ago, but as a principle of life. No matter what we have done, no matter what has been done to us, there is always hope for healing, new life, love and purpose.

Gratitude Prompt: For hope that enables me to trust in new life.

  1. https://cac.org/daily-meditations/the-belly-of-the-whale-2017-08-01/
  2. I purchased the copyright for this phoenix image. The phoenix, according to some ancient mythology, is a bird that dies and is reborn from the ashes. A fitting image for hope-notes, and for Easter. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenix_(mythology)