Sunflowers + Thoughts on the Resurrection


Come with me
to visit the sunflowers...
Their bright faces, 
which follow the sun,
will listen, and all
those rows of seeds -
each one a new life! 
hope for a deeper acquaintance...
Each of them, though it stands
in a crowd of many,
like a separate universe, 
is lonely,
the long work
of turning their lives
into a celebration
is not easy.

(Mary Oliver "The Sunflowers")

This poem has been on my mind all week heading toward Resurrection Sunday. Especially this line: the long work of turning their lives into a celebration is not easy. 

Jesus' resurrection is at the core of what we celebrate--it is hope and grace, and love triumphing over evil. But the day-to-day living out of that celebration takes heart work. It takes continually choosing faith over doubt, believing that we're loved, forgiven, and heirs to an abundant life, a life worth celebrating.

For each of us that work looks different. Our inner landscapes are filled with obstacles that are unique to our perceptions and personalities.

I battle a constant low-grade melancholy. You could say it's the artist in me, but if I'm not careful, it turns into full-blown depression. I have to remind myself that my feelings don't define my reality. That while my circumstances in any given moment may feel hopeless or discouraging, the truth is I have much to be thankful for. And when I pause and make a list of those things--in my head or on the page--I see the goodness of God overflowing, spilling over all the edges. 

I don't know what the work of turning your life into a celebration looks like for you. But I do know you're not alone. We're side by side in the Father's field together. And like sunflowers lifting our faces, following the sun across the sky, we can turn our thoughts toward life and all the beauty and warmth it offers us.

This resurrection weekend, and for all the days to come.