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Spring abounds and unbinds!

  • Posted on Apr 11, 2011

Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!: The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let hinm go.” John 11:42-44

This weekend at Orkney Springs, the sun finally emerged on Sunday out of the rain, mist and fog of Friday and Saturday. On Sunday morning, I was at Shrine Mont Retreat Center at the end of the Women’s Retreat. We gathered at the outdoor stone shrine for Eucharist. The altar area of the shrine is a stone archway that ressembles a stone tomb. As I stood in the “opening” of the tomb and heard this gospel read, I started to feel as though spring had come and, in my soul, some new freedom was awaiting to be born at Easter. The weekend was about telling stories of our mothers, grandmothers and other important women in our lives. My daughter Anna was a presenter and talked about Barbara Swain. She particularly recounted Barbara’s image of being Xena, Warrior Princess as she fought her illness of the last year. On the altar that Sunday, there was a picture of Xena, Warrior Princess that someone had cut out of a magazine. Sometimes we all–men and women–need to channel that warrior within to come out of the tomb of our own suffering. But we need not just our inner warrior but also the help of our communities of support to unbind our bands of cloths. It’s time to let our wounds heal in the light and air of day. That’s what it felt like on Sunday—coming out of the dank, dark tomb and into the fresh air. Ready to be unbound and ready to live again. Holy Week is the time to unbind our wounds through the story of Jesus’ passion. To experience through his suffering and death, our own woundedness and vulnerable places in our lives. Time for those parts of ourselves to see the light of day. To be unbound. To come to Easter Day squinting just a bit from the bright light of God’s healing love, but ready and willing to be healed. To move on to new life. Thanks be to God for spring. Spring abounds and unbinds!