Practice Resurrection

What do you do in the aftermath of death and destruction? “Practice resurrection,” you answer.

But the bombs exploded in Hiroshima.

If you told anyone to practice resurrection then, they’d laugh and walk away from you. I guess it’s a nice thought. A pretty image. But it’s nothing more than children picking dandelions thinking that they are flowers.

What do you do in the aftermath of death and destruction? You don’t know, but you don’t want to be told to practice resurrection. You don’t want to be told that it’s been long enough, that you just should move on already.

Life? Ha. That’s a myth for someone else to believe, you think. Life is not in the cards for me anymore. I’m far too damaged, far too gone. And you’re not being over-dramatic, you’re broken. But you’re not beyond rebuilding, not beyond new life.

You sit on benches and break bread. You pull up boots and press on, but you’re just buzzing in your busyness, you’re not breathing in your forgiveness.

You let the trapped-in-your-car birthday candles melt in the hot summer air because you know that birthdays, holidays, nothing is the same. There’s no going back. There’s no time machine. There’s no cliché scribbled on a greeting card to get to where you used to be.

So you go backward. You light matches on all you once had. You welcome in the smoke because at least it’s air. People ask how you are, and you answer good, knowing that it’s a joke.

But that’s not life. That’s the label you give yourself. That’s the name tag glue residue on your favorite shirt that you’re convinced will never come off. Of course, you’ve also never tried to throw it in the wash. You’ve never tried to plant seeds or plant trees. You’ve never welcomed in the oxygen, you’ve never welcomed in new life again.

“Seventy. Maybe seventy-five,” they were told in Hiroshima. The ground would be barren for the next seventy years. It would be too radioactive to house life. It would be too far beyond repair. Too damaged.

But spring came that next year. Weeds sprouted green shoots out of the death and destruction. Out of barren ground was life. And with the weeds, hope sprouted, too.

You open your eyes. You breathe in deeply—your lungs love air. You practice resurrection.

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