We are often asked at the end of a day, “What did you do?” And so, we reflect, we fret a bit, and then we offer a list of details that comprise our day. However, consistently absent from this list is waking up. I wonder why? To wake up is truly extraordinary. I like how Whitman put it:
The smoke of my own breath,
Echos, ripples, and buzzed whispers . . . . loveroot,
silkthread, crotch and vine,
My respiration and inspiration . . . . the beating of my heart
. . . . the passing of blood and air through my lungs,
The sniff of green leaves and dry leaves, and of the shore
and darkcolored sea-rocks, and of hay in the barn,
The sound of the belched words of my voice . . . . words
loosed to the eddies of the wind,
A few light kisses . . . . a few embraces . . . . a reaching
around of arms,
The play of shine and shade on the trees as the supple
The delight alone or in the rush of the streets, or along the
fields and hillsides,
The feeling of health . . . . the full-noon trill . . . . the
song of my rising from bed and meeting the sun.
That’s beautiful, isn’t it? I think waking up should be beautiful. I mean, think about it – a person lies down, closes their eyes, dies to existence, and then, several hours later, wakes up.
I think so.
But you see, resurrection has so very little to do with us. We simply, wake up. Or, maybe we are woken up. Maybe we are being woken up, again and again, to life.
Paul writes that light makes everything visible and that this is why it’s said:
Wake up, O sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.
Or perhaps Christ is shining on you.
And everyone else.
John records that Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.” And of course, Jesus came into the world, and so, perhaps the light of Christ is shining. Perhaps the light is shining and waking us all.
Like Lazarus coming out of a tomb.
Like Nicodemus pondering new birth.
Like the so-called "unclean" and "irreligious" realizing that divine light touches them, dines with them, and wakes them to love more extraordinary than they could ever hope for or imagine.
This is divine work.
And so, the next time I'm asked, at the end of my day, "What did you do?" I'll sing with Whitman, "The song of my rising from bed and meeting the sun.”