Eyes closed, I fumble for my phone to silence the beeping. It is too early.
Grabbing my sweater, I quietly step away from my sleeping household,
Soft footfalls on creaky floorboards.

It is dark, but there is birdsong.

I carry with me the concerns of yesterday, the worries of tomorrow.
I wonder if I am ready for another day.
The still morning draws me, calls to me.
The Light and Truth of God is leading me to solitude.
Alone, but not alone.
In this particular present, I seek the Presence of God.
With all of me I wait, opening myself to His Word, to His Spirit.
I take a deep breath, clumsily shifting worries to whispered prayers, turning burdens to incense.
And there I meet the risen Christ. Beautiful, radiant, real, ready to touch and heal,
Familiar with the wilderness, the storm, and the darkness of death.
And He is here with me. He calls me by name.
I have seen the Lord.

Eyes closed, I fumble for my shawl on this damp morning. It is before dawn.
Clutching closely the prepared spices, I quietly step away from the sleeping household.
Soft footfalls on stony pathways.

It is dark, but there is birdsong.

The memories bring fear. Is this David’s valley of the shadow of death?
My eyes sting. I wonder if I am ready for this day.
Despite the ache, the still morning draws me, calls to me.
The light and truth of God is leading me to the burial place.
Alone, but not alone.
In this fragile present, I seek the Presence of YHWH.
With all of me I approach, readying myself to see Him one last time.
Then all the air rushes out of me; Spices scatter; No body. There is no body.
And there I meet the risen Christ. Beautiful, radiant, real, ready to touch and heal,
Familiar with the wilderness, the storm, and the darkness of death.
And He is here with me. He calls me by name.
I have seen the Lord!

It is dark…
Creation has seen her share of suffering. It aches and groans.
Bellies and hearts are hungry. Bodies are sick. Souls are sad.
Not enough shelters, too many guns.
Not enough sharing, too much oppression.
Sin. It is unhuman, inhumane, and dehumanizing.
The tragedies of history are heaped one upon another. The world is weighed down.
Humans, God-made-good humans, in need of widespread repair. Prepare the way of the Lord.

…but there is birdsong.
A call to the Church to sound forth hope and go forth in love.
To carry in our Body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus would be manifest in our Body.
That the world may meet the risen Christ.
That we would be beautiful, radiant, real, ready to touch and heal,
unafraid of the wilderness, the storm, and the darkness of death.
To be present in this world.
That all persons would hear Him calling their name and respond,
“I have seen the Lord.”