Easter Sunday, April 2021
Oh, my friend. Do you know that it’s possible to be so full that you know, for sure, that your words don’t matter much?
I thought my Saturday and Sunday would be spent working around the house, going to church, getting ready for next week. But then, I read again about some dear women going to the tomb, finding emptiness 20 centuries ago.
I had already been praying for some other precious women who’ve been struggling with loss and health. Maybe that’s why the Easter story impacted me in a new way.
Surely we all carry losses inside of us, but this time I identified with these dear women at the tomb on a feeling level.
I carried this story into Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday. It was haunting and yet desirable to carry.
On Holy Saturday, I carried it with me to a woman’s yard where thousands of irises were being sold. (The owner was ill and selling her flowers and house.) I only took a limited amount of money with me, knowing I’d be like a gambler walking into a casino. My husband and I dug irises, and two hours later, we replanted them. When the task was complete, my mind went right back to the women on my heart and back to the women at the tomb.
Oh, friend. How do I tell you that a burden can lay in your lap while your hands are busy? Am I the only one who knows how this works? I baked apple bread later, then picked the tomb story up again. I would set it down for thirty minutes, then pick it back up like I do with my purse. The bread turned out lovely, the irises are in a new bed, but when I carry a burden (for myself or others), I carry a burden.
This Easter morning I awakened to a redbird singing. I couldn’t decide immediately if it was hollering for me to bring more seed or if it was praising its maker. It was dawn, so I believe it was the latter.
The last few days I’ve felt like such a little part of the world. No one else is aware of this. The world keeps moving along, thank goodness! What a big lesson, and I have had to relearn it again and again most of my life: it’s okay to be a sparrow or a redbird and do my little part like feeding the dogs or birds, making a bed, washing a dish. It’s all good.
But today is Easter Sunday.
“He is risen,” my husband says.
“He is risen, indeed,” comes a reply.
In Sunday School, I am reminded of how big my need is for the Resurrection. I never have too many reminders.
Before I enter the sanctuary, an old friend from long ago comes up to me and says, “Do you know me?” I almost cry. Of course I know her. We hug. Then she walks with me into the sanctuary where her family and extended family sit on two pews. I am overwhelmed. My husband is in the sound booth, so I sit among them. God is good.
The service reminds us why Jesus chose to come, die, be buried in a tomb, be resurrected. I store this in my heart.
After the service, I visit and help pass out loaves of bread to new visitors. Joy unspeakable.
An egg hunt for boys and girls follows. I watch the children’s happiness in showing parents their crazy eggs, dyed eggs, fun eggs.
My husband and I rejoice all the way home about the great surprise of friends just showing up at our service. More sweetness to ponder and store in my heart.
It is good that the heart can hold our joys, our sorrows, our wonderings. Oh, friend.... Today, I am full. I’m just laying all of it—the prayers and the joys—at the feet of Jesus. He’ll know what to do with it. It’s the most loving thing I know to do: just trust all of it to Jesus.
P.S. This is my first announcement that I am putting a poetry book together about LETTING GO when holding on is not helpful. More on this to come. As always, your comments below are appreciated.
New iris bed at the Durmon home, Spring 2021. Photographed by Pat Durmon.
Books by Pat Durmon