Sunday, April 5, 2009
Time to get out the boots
Time to find the muck boots. It's almost time for trampling. Trampling. It's not an easy image, not one I much care for. Too violent. It sounds like a capricious act, trampling everything in one's path, without discrimination. Sometimes, indeed, it happens that way. "Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death and upon those in the tombs bestowing life." I'm not much for religion these days. I spend my time among people for whom the church is a constant irritant, a source of pain and rejection and hurt. I respect their experiences and I'm not in any mood to try to talk them out of feeling anger and suspicion about the institution, as it is. But the story of this one who trampled down death by death is a compelling story, one I live with and by. I want it to live in me, to animate my comings and goings and thinkings and doings. So it's trampling time again. This Easter greeting from the Russian Orthodox Church inspires me all over again every spring. I've learned that the messy work of being kind and loving and doing justice and being merciful and gracious does, in fact, also involve some trampling. Trampling on the sensibilities of those who want order and to preserve power. Trampling on the impulses of avarice and greed, trampling down the deadly attitudes and deathly addictions that prompt me -- and others -- to hate and hoard, to look the other way, to fail to give and share and work hard for the basic human rights of others. Trampling on my fear of getting out of my little cocoon and moving back out into the world again, with humor and grace. So, it's not snow boots or ski boots (although I'd gladly strap those on one more time) or cowboy boots or even hiking boots I'm talking about. It's the muck boots. Those are the ones I imagine when Easter comes around. And I'll be out in the yard, trampling down those deadly and deathly impulses that live within and around me. The peeps and bunnies and dark chocolate rabbits will wait. I'm going trampling this week, getting ready. For new life. Maybe I'll see you out in the yard, too. There's muck enough for us all.