Seeing Resurrection In Everything
In her beautiful and haunting poem "The Ponds," Mary Oliver captures a moment where she gazes into a small pond, choked with lily pads as it is reflecting sunlight.
From a distance it looks stunning, but as she draws closer she sees it fully as it is, with all of its imperfections. She looks at the the mottled leaves of many of the lily pads, the underbelly of it all and notes the "unstoppable decay"
It becomes a sign and symbol of the inevitability of mortality, yet there is something within in her that clings to hope, and longs for more. She writes:
Still, what I want in my life
is to be willing
to be dazzled--
to cast aside the weight of facts
and maybe even
to float a little
above this difficult world.
I want to believe I am looking
into the white fire of a great mystery.
I want to believe that the imperfections are nothing--
that the light is everything...
When I read this poem I'm reminded of the words of John the Revelator who speaks of the power of Resurrection, which for many of us is the power to finally see the world and ourselves as God intended.
The Revelator declares that because of the Universal and Risen Christ who imbues all things with Resurrection---all of Creation will one day "...be set free from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom of the glory of the children of God." (Rev. 8:21)
In other words, the reason why you can look beyond the imperfections of the lily pads and see a "white fire of a great mystery," is because it's there. It has been there all along waiting to be seen... waiting to be fully realized.
Fr. Richard Rohr puts it like this:
Resurrection is the incarnation [the fact that God became human in Jesus] coming to its logical conclusion. If God is already in everything, then everything is from glory and unto glory.So what does this mean for you today and every day forward? It means that you have the ability--if you are willing--to see beyond the imperfections and brokenness in the world and envision something new.
You can see hope where there is hopelessness... healing where there is sickness... unity where there is division... new life where there is death.
May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.