It is the darkness that draws me
conscious perhaps of the bit of me that died.
Most of the time the life that has come from the death triumphs
and now I need to surrender to the experience of the tomb.
In the darkness of the cave I am drawn to the light outside
and I know I will emerge from the darkness into light
as I have done so many times before.
My God, help me receive my gifts with joy
and embrace the call of suffering as well as the experience of life in all its fullness.
They are both parts of the same journey.
I was reminded of this reflection I wrote a couple of years ago as I looked at this picture, the final of our stations of the cross service today. The image of the tomb, a place of death, a place of waiting is one which resonates with my own journey. The picture is by Sieger Koder and the words in the book, which I had not read until today, shed new light for me on my own experiences of death. The picture is called “Chrysalis” and the verse which goes alongside it is John 12:24 – unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies it remains a single grain. If it dies it yields a rich harvest. The comment is this: So often we feel the failure of our hopes, our dreams, our plans. Our efforts may appear empty and our attempts fruitless. The stone is rolled across the entrance of our hearts, our relationships, our whole life – the stone shuts everything out. Yet unless the grain of wheat dies, it bears no fruit. Baptised in Christ, rooted in him, we are bearers of his new life. We carry God’s reassurance that with him nothing is impossible.
I know that on Easter day when we celebrate the resurrection that I can testify that God brought life out of my death even though the pain can catch me unawares even now. He is a God who comforts me when I need comforting but rejoices with me when I am liberated to rejoice.