I’m a little late with my reflection this week. That’s because I’ve been brewing on it at great length, so deeply has it impacted me:
I felt the warm, soft wax between my fingers and looked down to see that I’d formed the Easter taper into a “J” – candy cane style. I’d been holding it so tightly entwined between my fingers that I’d completely distorted its shape. Slowly, gently, I coerced it back into a nice, straight candle.
The bells were chiming the Gloria during Easter Vigil at our parish and I was contemplating the Glory of the Resurrection. But it wasn’t just Christ’s Resurrection I was thinking about.
I was thinking about our oldest son serving in the military and about to embark on his deployment to the Middle East. I was remembering whining and fretting to a wise advisor about my fears that Matt won’t return from this mission. I’d let my mother-heart run wild with anxiety. He didn’t deny the possibility of Matt’s not returning. Instead, he made a promise to me. He promised that, no matter what happens, there WILL be a Resurrection. After Good Friday, there’s always a Resurrection.
Standing there, candle in hand, tears filling my eyes and a lump in my throat, I was thinking to myself that, even if I lose Matt during this deployment (and I’m not planning on it, I assure you), I will see him again at the Resurrection. God willing, we’ll see each other again in heaven. And then, there will be no more anxiety, no more sad partings, no more separation and uncertainty. The bells weren’t chiming the truth of Christ’s Resurrection alone, they were chiming the hope of the Resurrection for all of us.
Somehow at that moment, I felt more peace than I’ve had in a while. A new feeling came over me – a kind of melancholic calm and a closeness to Christ I’ve not felt in quite that way before. It was the feeling that after having been to more Easter Vigils than I’d like to count, blowing out more Easter tapers than I’d like to remember, gorging on more Easter basket contents than I’d like to admit, I finally got it. I finally understood what the Resurrection really means.
The miraculous Bible story we read every single year isn’t the story of Jesus of Nazareth alone. It’s my story. It’s your story. It’s Matt’s story.
Yes, I could lose him this deployment. If that should happen, it will rip my heart out and I will never be the same. But if I do lose him, if God so chooses this path for him – for me, for Fenelon Clan – then we also will be assured that after Good Friday there will be a Resurrection.