“Thank you, Lord.”
Those are the words from my mother’s lips as we clasp our hands together to bless the food he has given–all purée because solids are an impossibility at this point. She whispers, almost as if it was a private conversation between two lovers that I unintentionally eavesdropped on. I ask her if she wants a little bit of salt and pepper, she nods. I tear two packets–one salt and one pepper–lightly tapping the edge for an even coat, then vigorously mixing it with a spoon. I scoop, I prep, and I serve my mother her dinner. This is sacred, because Jesus is here–Jesus is in her.
Three years ago, the gravity of Christ’s resurrection had a tremendous reconfiguration: the promise of new life and new body became good good news. While some pride in the abstraction of the concrete, I was refreshed with the reconcretization of the concrete–the hope of the resurrection became tastable. No longer does the empty tomb mean a baseless message stuck on dull repeat, but a satisfying and fulfilling hope. The deterioration of the body and the mind is a heart-wrenching sight: inevitable and ubiquitous as it is, a deep lament from the bones of loved ones bemoans, “this is not right…this is not supposed to be.” And praise God that the story does not end with the cross, but victoriously charges into the resurrection: death is swallowed up by life; mortality is consumed by immortality.
Theological enterprise can sketch the fine contours of resurrection, but only gratitude can set back, gaze, and worship the Resurrected Lord. And, I believe, my mother lives this out.