Last year, I wrote about my experience of a woman at the Easter Vigil that I saw whose head was bald. Here is the link to last year’s blog post:
She had been diagnosed with breast cancer and had lost her hair to chemotherapy. She was, and still is, the image of Easter new life.
I saw her again last evening at the Easter Vigil. Curly, dark hair now adorns her head. She also shared with me that she doesn’t need to see her oncologist for another 6 months! What a difference a year makes!
She, once again, becomes the very presence of death and resurrection, of loss and new life. In the gospel of Mark, chapter 16 last evening, we heard a man speak to Mary Magdalene:
“You see Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He has been raised, he is not here.”
The woman I saw a year ago is no longer here. She has been transformed, healed, made new. She is resurrection in the flesh!
She reminds me that death (and diagnosis) are not the end. She reminds me that we are to lean into these moments that challenge and frighten us with great courage, strength, hope and faith. She reminds me that, in moments when I feel I can’t or don’t have the strength to do something, or because it feels too overwhelming, much waits for me on the other side, beyond the fear and mountain that sits before me. Instead of retreating and going back, she and Jesus remind me that I need to look for new life and hope in new places….within myself, within my faith, and within my world. Looking in the same old, same old only leads to limited sight and a dark tomb. We are called to look beyond, into new territory to find that whom we seek. My church friend sought new life on the other side of cancer, and she got it!! Jesus sought new life on the other side of death, and he got it too!
Let us be reminded that if we are looking for hope and new life, we need to look and seek for it beyond the empty tomb. Sometimes we need to go through the depths of darkness in order to see the light anew. It’s always there for us. Waiting to be discovered. Calling us beyond that which is right in front of us. Thank you, my church friend, for once again being that resurrection presence, and pointing me beyond the tomb to a place filled with hope, light, new hair, and new life! A place where Jesus lives.
Easter Blessings to you!