Even when life around us is most definitely not okay.
And suffice it to say that these past few months have been a whole barrel of not okay.
This morning I woke, fuzzy-headed, as is usual these days. I always begin with remembering what day it is, as though I was stranded on a desert island and had to keep a calendar to keep my sense of time and season. Today I woke and I thought, “today is Sunday, what now?”
I came across a piece of a Wendell Berry poem,
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn’t go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Today is Sunday, and on this particular Sunday, we are so close to Holy Week, so close to Pascha. If this were any other year, I might say it was close enough to touch, but now, social distancing is taking away so much of our ability to connect physically with the world, the church, the community.
Someone I know said, “we don’t get to have Pascha this year.” I disagree. It’s like saying that if we miss the sun setting, the sunset didn’t happen. There is always still Pascha, whether we hold it in the usual way or not. Christ has died, Christ has Risen, and Christ will come again. This much is true and real and steady.
Many of us have moved our connections online. Glory to God for the ability to do so. We find ways around the obstacles to prayer, worship, and connection, like water finds ways around obstacles in a stream. It might take some time, it probably takes all the time we have to give to it.
Here’s the thing: I feel as though this entire Lenten season was spent just finding my feet in a new way of living and for a long while I resented that. But, you know, this quote from Wendell Berry reminded me of something today. It reminded me that perhaps the season of Lent is ALWAYS this way. I am always finding my feet, I’m just not always faced with the reality of that.
Sometimes we will make tracks in the wrong direction, stumble, fall, crash on or rush over the stones instead of around them. We may feel a little beat up about it. We may feel a little angry or resentful too.
The cause is variable. The cure is always the same:
Practice Resurrection. Remember what brought you to Christ and practice things like kindness, mercy, care, forgiveness, love, and healing. We may not get to practice Holy Week and Pascha the way we are used to practicing it, with prayer and Liturgy and incense, baskets of fasting foods blessed on a table, candles, and community, but we do get to have Pascha because Christ is Risen.
He is always risen.
And so, we’re okay.