I read the story of Canaire, an Irish woman who lived as a hermit in a hut she built in the south of Ireland back in the early 500’s. One night she had a vision in which she saw all the church communities of Ireland spread before her and each had a pillar of fire standing next to it. Some fires rose higher than others and one rose above all the rest. This was on the island of Inis Cathaig (Scattery Island) and she thought “That will be the place of my resurrection.” So, she traveled there.
Some people look for the place where they will retire. That’s a big consideration in Lancaster. People here have told me how they moved from Hawaii or Florida or New York City to be in one of the retirement communities here. That was one of the things Beckie and I had no expectation of when we moved here, that this was a retirement Mecca. Some people look for the place where they will die. That might be with someone like family or in one’s hometown. Canaire is the first person I’ve heard of who moved to find the spot from where she’d be resurrected.
Once a week Christians are called to celebrate – to remind themselves with rejoicing – that Jesus rose from the dead and lead the way into life after life. Every Sunday is an Easter. We’re supposed to hang onto that I think. Famously, Wendell Barry in his “Manifesto: The Mad Farmer’s Liberation Front” calls us to practice Resurrection. We, of all people, have a reason to do that. We have reason to not be predictable to our society, to not fit into its profit margins or to be assumed as a human resource rather than a human being.
Some people look for the end. They flip to the back of the book when the mystery is still before them, sometimes when it is at its height. They don’t get lost in the variety of emotion flowing into them from the story. They try to control, to handle, to keep it down to a minimum. They flip to the back of the book to steal assurance that it will end well, instead of allowing life to play out.
But Christians are told to trust the Storyteller, to trust that the end is in hand and not to worry, to read the promise that is found between the lines of daily experiences. It makes me think that we’re supposed to pick the place of our resurrection for today. Not thinking about from what place under the dirt will Jesus call me, but, from where will my soul be called again into life today? Will it be in the way I respond to my co-worker’s attitude? Will it be in the way I speak into the face of a bigot? Will it be in the tip I leave? Will it be what I pick up and throw away that I never dropped? Will it be in giving up depression for a moment and smiling in response to daylight? Will it be in planting what I can never harvest?