The place of the wound is the place of healing. The place of the break is the place of the greatest strength.
That’s why Jesus, even in his resurrected body, reappears with the wounds still in his hands, in his side, in his feet.
— Richard Rohr, Breathing Under Water (Franciscan Media)
This quote by Richard Rohr resonates for me. It gave me great hope a number of years ago when I faced a challenging time in my life. It reminds me that God, who always desires healing and wholeness for each of us, cannot prevent the brokenness we experience in our lives. This brokenness is part of the imperfect story of creation. And yet, with God, our brokenness can be transformed into gifts of strength, compassion, mercy, and love.
Throughout this Lenten season, we have been sitting with the brokenness of ourselves, our communities, our nation and the global community as images of war, violence, racism and division have flooded our news and social media. It is truly overwhelming. At times the only prayer I can muster is “God, please do not abandon us!”
The late Henri Nouwen believed that the spiritual life starts at the place where we can hear God’s voice and we realize that we are held in God’s eternal embrace. In our Lenten journey, we walk with Jesus, who experienced betrayal, rejection, assault, the pain of violence and the passage of death. Jesus never ceased in his desire to listen for God — and came to trust immensely that God is beside us, holding us, weeping with us, sending us strength. Such faith fosters an openness to choosing the wounds that come with love lived out in the world.
Alleluia! Christ is risen! Christ is risen, indeed!
In the days ahead, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and the all-encompassing love of God for all creation, for all humanity. In as much as I may have trouble wholeheartedly exclaiming “Alleluia!” this Easter, I believe Jesus is calling us to trust that resurrection love can still show up at times of profound sorrow and vulnerability. God is still with us – in our deepest selves, in the ways we carry love into our relationships and into the world.
In the face of violent atrocities and division, let us help each other remember that we are an Easter people. Let us exclaim resurrection love to a world that so desperately needs it. Let us take comfort and strength in knowing that whatever brokenness we are experiencing, Christ has been there. Thanks be to God!