Resurrection House Blog: Thoughts on Sunrises and Dishes
Thoughts on Sunrises and Dishes
As I was flying home from Omaha early on Christmas morning I was taken aback by the beauty of the sunrise. Below the horizon was a deep royal blue, which slowly transitioned into purples and pinks. Within a few minutes there were yellows and oranges, and as I was watching the new day begin from thousands of feet in the air I thought it might be one of the most beautiful things I have ever witnessed. I could see the ground below, the endless sky above, and all the colors of creation being born for the new day right in the middle. Although what I seeing was pure elegance and grace, I realized I had seen it before. You see, I cannot say with certainty that the sunrise on Christmas was prettier than on any other day. I cannot say whether seeing the sun rise from an airplane is any more sacred than watching it rise over the snow-capped mountains, or watching it creep through the kitchen window while I make my breakfast. That’s the thing about sunrises, and all other magnificent things of creation: they cannot be judged fairly from day to day. Each is new. Each is being born again, and bringing with it new possibilities.
As I continued my journey home I thought back to the very first sunrise. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being.” I wondered if the word has been in the sunrises since the beginning, but we haven’t always seen. If the word has been in the vast sea, and the open landscapes, but we haven’t always paid attention. If the word has been in the singing of the birds, but we haven’t always listened.
Then there are all the little everyday things. The divine dish cloth. The psalms of dusting. The anthems of laundry. Is the word there too? Do you see it? We might praise the beauty of nature, as we should, but we should also bless the monotonous and drab.
We have been back in Nebraska for about two weeks. Back in community with each other at the house. Back in community with our parishes. Back in community with our non-profits.
Back to the routine of things.
Here we are: seeing sunrises and chopping onions; praying compline and sweeping the kitchen floor; discussing liturgy and taking out the recycling. Who is to say what is holy? Who is to say what isn’t holy?
The three of us were called to Nebraska. The three of us were meant to be a part of this cornhusker-obsessed, freezing wind chilled, Midwest-friendly state. We are not the same people we were when we arrived last August, and we most assuredly won’t be the same people who leave in May. We followed God’s call to be here, and we have spent almost as much time laughing as working. Sometimes we joke about what the community would be like if just one of us was replaced with someone else. Would we still get along like we do? God is moving throughout our community all the time. I look forward to these next four months, where we have the time and space to explore even further what intentional community means, not just for resurrection house this year, but when we leave this place.
“Come unto me. Come unto me, you say. All right then, dear my Lord. I will try in my own absurd way. In my own absurd way I will try to come unto you, a project which is in itself by no means unabsurd. Because I do not know the time or place where you are. And if by some glad accident my feet should stumble on it, I do not know that I would know that I had stumbled on it. And even if I did know, I do not know for sure that I would find you there. … And if you are there, I do not know that I would recognize you. And if I recognized you, I do not know what that would mean or even what I would like it to mean. I do not even well know who it is you summon, myself. For who am I? I know only that heel and toe, memory and metatarsal, I am everything that turns, all of a piece, unthinking, at the sound of my name. … Come unto me, you say. I, … all of me, unknowing and finally unknowable even to myself, turn. O Lord and lover, I come if I can to you down through the litter of any day, through sleeping and waking and eating and saying goodbye and going away and coming back again. Laboring and laden with endless histories heavy on my back.” ― Frederick Buechner, The Alphabet of Grace
– Reagan Grabbe