Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. -Wendell Berry
I live a fact-governed existence. I love figures and numbers and black and white. I like knowing and weighing and considering, and making choices on pro/con lists. But over time, I've come to realize that that isn't how I should live my life. As comfortable as the neatest trajectory from A to B is, or as much as I love the glow in my heart that comes from doing what's expected, that's not how I now feel called to live.
Last Easter, I sat in a cold wooden pew in the Stiftskirche St. Georg in Tuebingen, where Easter services have been held longer than the US has been a nation. As I looked around, I realized that we were all alone, even in our togetherness. Celebrating in silence. Comforted by our adherence to tradition. Waiting for church to be over to rejoice with friends and family.
This year, I woke up early to celebrate at sunrise with an eclectic bunch of students, faculty, staff, and children from all Christian traditions. We clutched our little paper programs as we stood on the cold dock watching the sunrise. We laughed with the kids who couldn't keep quiet. We shivered together in sweatpants and earmuffs. We took turns reading scriptures and prayers. We all hugged after the final hallelujah. It was far away from fact and tradition. In that moment, we were united in faith and in something bigger than ourselves. The celebration was in the service, not after it.
Sometime around 7:20 this morning, I realized something. Easter is the holy in the messy. It's in the shrieking children and in the broken promises, in the missed calls and the misread prayers. Easter isn't a testament to the enduring and the predictable and the traditional. For me, in this time in my life, it's the radical departure from all that we know and trust. It's the certainty that even the craziest, most confusing, darkest, scariest, most unpredictable nights emerge into glorious mornings.