They Have Threatened Us with Resurrection

Author: Adrian Williams
April 15, 2020

QuetzalWhen I went into my initial quarantine it was early March, still the end of winter in many ways. Winter is a season when death seems to rule supreme. Yet even as the outside has turned to spring, it still feels for many of us like we are in the spiritual season of winter. Things feel dormant, or at least in a deep rest. Many have mentioned how the quiet is both peaceful and discomforting all at once. In this dichotomy we have to see things clearly.  We have to deal with our discomfort and wonder why we find peace in this time of pain. The world seems clearer, both in its beauty and its brutality. Our inward winters can take on many forms: isolation, failure, fear . . . yet every one of these call us to go out into them like the cold of winter. They call us to move from a place of inner comfort into a place where we can learn more about our strengths, our joys, our doubts, our peace.

This reminds me of the call of scripture to “choose life.” This may seem like an obvious choice, but so often in our darkest hours we can see why this is the harder choice. This pandemic continues to take lives, both through physical death and through destruction of hope, peace, love, and joy as we struggle to understand life itself. It becomes so important to fight for life, not just if we get sick with a virus, but more so to fight for life that returns God’s intended humanity and community to the world as a whole. We must not just fight for our lives, but that all may come out of this time of winter and death into resurrection. 

The final part of this Midweek Reflection is made up of selections from parts of a poem by Guatemalan poet Julia Esquivel called “They Have Threatened Us With Resurrection.” Written originally about the civil war where those with power wished to destroy the indigenous Mayan populations and take away their lives in all forms.  This in many ways echoes the struggles that are happening the world over as we fight for what is good for all and not just for ourselves. 

They have threatened us with Resurrection
Because we have felt their inert bodies,
and their souls penetrated ours
doubly fortified,
because in this marathon of Hope,
there are always others to relieve us
who carry the strength
to reach the finish line
which lies beyond death.

They have threatened us with Resurrection
because they are more alive than ever before,
because they transform our agonies
and fertilize our struggle,
because they pick us up when we fall,
because they loom like giants
before the crazed gorillas’ fear.

They have threatened us with Resurrection,
because they do not know life (poor things!).

That is the whirlwind
which does not let us sleep,
the reason why while sleeping, we keep watch,
and while awake, we dream.

It is the internal cyclone of kaleidoscopic struggle
which will heal that wound of the quetzal
fallen in Ixcan,
it is the earthquake soon to come
that will shake the world
and put everything in its place.

Join us in this vigil
and you will know what it is to dream!
Then you will know how marvelous it is
to live threatened with Resurrection!

To dream awake,
to keep watch asleep,
to live while dying,
and to know ourselves already
resurrected!

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