Saturday, April 07, 2007

maybe redemption has stories to tell

Awhile back I mentioned that I'd bought real art with birthday money as a gift to myself. Well, this is it, the piece you see here. It's entitled "Enjoy the Silence" and is by Melissa Voth McHugh.

It is a piece that called out to me as soon as I saw it. For several years now I've told a number of people that my personal Easter icon is a green plant pushing its way through pavement: a sign that life triumphs and is unstoppable in it's victory. So when I saw this painting, I knew that this was it: the Easter icon I'd been desiring.

Easter is perhaps the most difficult Christian event to unpack and attempt to view constructively. Each year I find myself searching for new meaning, trying to find some way to understand this event, so crucial (see crux/crucifix in my choice of language there) to our Christian faith, an "anchor" in our stormy history. Always unbelievable. Always unreasonable. Always illogical. Hopefully it always will be.

I find myself wondering what keeps me from pushing through the pavement of selfishness, need, judgementalism, self-centeredness, when there is light and air and water beckoning me out of the darkness of self and into the infinity of divine glory. Why was it that I seemed to be happier in the darkness of good Friday this year, bound into the passion? Why don't I do more, help more, give more?

Hmmm, and then I think of the tomato seedlings crowded onto my living-room windowsills. I am willing to make room for them. I believe in seeds taking root and pushing through the soil. I do believe in life. I do believe in the scandalousness of grace, that what I do is enough. I do believe in resurrection. Not because it is logical or sane or academically-provable, but because it is irrational, unreasonable and exactly the kind of thing that the God I believe in, whose passion streams unceasingly, would do.



  • Easter is in a many ways the "crux" of the Christian faith & struggle. I think our generation is particularly embracing of "mystery" and "uncertainty," affording dignity to doubt and novelty. That's something I like about postmodern Christianity, or Christianity among postmoderns. And the image of a tender, vulnerable weed sprouting in a sea of concrete is a great illustration.

    One could say "look at all that concrete" and mean "the plant can never hope to succeed" or mean "what a victory one flower is against all that."

    Happy Easter, Shannon. Many flowers to you.

    By Blogger Christian, at 8:55 AM  

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