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I am, you anxious one. 

Don’t you sense me, ready to break
into being at your touch?
My murmurings surround you like shadowy wings.
Can’t you see me standing before you
cloaked in stillness?
Hasn’t my longing ripened in you
from the beginning
as fruit ripens on a branch?

I am the dream you are dreaming.
When you want to awaken, I am that wanting:
I grow strong in the beauty you behold.
And with the silence of stars I enfold
your cities made by time.

 – Rainer Maria Rilke

I have so many thoughts swirling around, overwhelming me.

A few days before flying out east I was telling my therapist how I feel this lack of spirituality in my life. I don’t know where I stand with “God” as he has always been defined by the Christian communities I’ve participated in. I was fighting back tears and she encouraged me to find time to cry.

I’m insecure about telling the ‘good’ Christians how terrible I am at being a Christian, and equally nervous about telling the non-christians how “Christian” I am.

I thought maybe I could try to be open to God around me, if indeed God exists. And then a Mormon sat next to me on the bus, and more than this, kindness spread through the bus by a simple act from another person.

And I found this poem by Rainer Maria Rilke on my friend Walter’s wall, suggesting that God grows strong in the beauty we behold. That God is at the very surface, waiting to burst forward.

Finally, I found myself at an Easter gathering and confessed to the group my disbelief. I told them how anxious I am for an answer – was the resurrection literal? Is God a personal, interactive being or just a distant creative force, albeit a fully good one? What role does spirituality play in my life? Do we need God in a postmodern world? Have we destroyed God?

And yet, I found myself wanting to pray.

And then someone reminded me that we live in the middle of the story. Perhaps the resurrection is evidence to us that God is Hope, and that we get these glimpses, but we also are still in mourning. We are grieving God’s death just as the disciples grieved Jesus’s death.  And the evidence of God, God-essence is all around us. In some way, people are more present after death – in those moments when a cup, a place, a word reminds you so much of them. And oh, how that makes the heart ache.

It shouldn’t surprise me that Easter is a time when reminders of God and questions of God’s relevancy would surround me. But here I am.

“Physicists gain certain insights from understanding energy as a wave, and other insights from understanding it as a particle, and use quantum mechanics to reconcile the information they have gleaned. Similarly, we have to examine illness and identity, understand that observation will usually happen in one domain or the other, and come up with a syncretic mechanics. We need a vocabulary in which the two concepts are not opposites, but compatible aspects of a condition. The problem is to change how we assess the value of individuals and of lives, to reach for a more ecumenical take on healthy.”

Solomon, Andrew. Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity (New York: Scribner, 2012), 5.

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