This makes my day!! Thank you, Diana! 💕
Love your posting today. As a retired higher ed survivor, I read the part about the college experience as more about academia than religion. I was often astonished by the discussions/infighting that goes on within faculty groups. But you are right that sometimes leaving a position or role is a spiritual path. I don’t think we talk about “holy leaving” enough as we often try to hang on to the status quo for the “benefits” we value. Salary, pensions, status, insurance, etc. Thank you.
Diana, I love your story! I have one too and I didn’t know at the time I was practicing resurrection! Wendell Berry is a gift. Like he said, I have Faith in these people”.
Thank you for all you gave us on this post.
Diana, this is just perfect. I need to practice resurrection at this moment in my life, to see the hope that so often is hidden from my view. Wendell Berry's Manifesto is simply profound. Thank you for being a port in the storm for so many of us.
I once led music at a summer camp, and there was a snafu regarding the music I was to bring. However, one of the campers was a choir director, had ordered the same music for his choir, and had it in the trunk of his car. The lead pastor at the camp said "Does anyone here think that was by accident?"
Coincidences like that always feel like holy nudges. Imagine my delight in seeing the Wendell Barry poem on your blog, I used the very same in my Easter Sunrise sermon! Linked to another quote from George MacDonald from his The Princess and Curdie- “There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection.” My point was exactly that - we can live in a state of continuious resurrection If we only open ourselves to the nearness of God that you so eloquently speak of....
This is probably your most powerful piece to date from my POV.
Susan....perhaps you mis-read/mis-understood my comment?
RE: Your "All deaths"; There is a very real difference between physical death and the death of a hope or aspiration.
I do know there are other options for a spiritual home....and am keeping my eye out for one. What I was alluding to/saying is that I'm very disappointed in, and fear for the long-term existence, of the church I now go to because it is ossified/frozen in place (and that place is somewhere in the mid-'50s).
And one person that I shared my concerns with literally said: "It (the physical "death" = dissolution/discontinuation of her church) is not going to happen in my time, so it's not my concern."
I wanted to cry when she said that Instead, I began looking for another spiriual home. And there aren't a whole lot of them to choose from where I now love.
And finally, thanks for your thoughts/concern...not surprising in one who "visits" the Cottage. Eileen.
I love the idea that life post resurrection show up in unexpected ways. Not as it was, or even as we could imagine life to be.
“Behold I am doing a new thing” !
Thank you to those who replied to my story. After I posted I realized I had not told the end of it, as Paul Harvey would have said. I kept my friendships going with my teaching colleagues for many years and still have contact with them. I was part of many births, most joyous, but not all. I was not in the OR, although I could have forced myself in (I chose not to be) when my granddaughter was born by emergency C Section, and loved it all, except maybe the hours between 0400 and 0800.
I retired from this job at 62 because my shoulders were completely shot and I had already had a hip replaced. Nursing is very physical. I missed being in able to work during the worst of the pandemic because I know how to be a trauma nurse. But I had to let go, as we all do, of things we once did in the seasons of ours lives.
I did write that book about Vietnam. Not because I was haunted by being there but because I had stories to tell. A lifelong, church attending Lutheran who never thought I would wander joined my local Episcopal Church on an invitation and love it. I write short, hopefully inspirational pieces with 4 other people for our newsletter. Because of my connection with it I was asked to be on the Board of Directors of the local AIDS support organization.
In in sermon on Easter our priest referenced the resurrection paintings of Sir Stanley Spencer. That got me thinking: You can see them by googling the Tate Gallery. When we say Christ is risen the action verb IS is in the present tense. And that is how Christ and God has been in my life. Thank you for reading me babble on.
that poem reminds me of my favorite Brave Combo song, “Do Something Different,” the first verse of which being:
Don't believe anyone
Don't read your mail
Make light of every word you hear
Turn off your radio
Quit your job
Do Something Different (Disappear)
Gotta say, the comments have been as "instructive" as the posting. Not better than, but rather expanding on the message at the heart of the posting: listne to your heart and if your chosen profession (and the environment where you do the do) isn't "right' for you, walk away from the profession/environment....not the vocation. And Rev BB, that is exactly what you did. And in the process reached hundsreds/thousands, rather than a (relatively) few students. A win-win for everyone involved.
I saw resurrection today in Pincher Creek, Alberta, Canada. This small ranchland church asked the Healing Group in my larger-city United Church of Canada for help to give them information so that they could understand the Healing Pathway Program which operates under the umbrella of the church. Three women practitioners (healers of The Healing Pathway) joined me there in that small church. There were perhaps 50 people present. We worshiped together and then I told people a little bit about the program. After worship, we gathered for lunch downtsairs and then the three women did a demonstration of a healing procedure. Around thirty people stayed after the lunch, drew up chairs and watched this healing procedure as it unfolded with the two practitioners and a volunteer on the healing table (massage table) while I answered questions and sort of ran commentary. At the end of this time of togetherness, there were a group of people anxious to start up their own group to offer healing to people in the Pincher Creek community. We visitors will return again to help them set up their group and to be a resource as they begin the training sessions for The Healing Pathway. Caring for our neighbors, we will work at making energy healing available at no cost to those who wish it. My heart grew wide -- I felt resurrection there. Gratitude overflows. Amen!
Like your story, mine is a resurrection story in which there was no foreknowledge. It took years to even become aware that I was resurrected. Becoming aware of my own resurrection has led to, oh so many adventures and challenges. I’m reminded of the hymn, Great Is Thy Faithfulness. Thank you for your reflection which was an invitation to my own.
I have read all the posts so I'm a bit embarrassed to post this but I was talking with a fellow Pisces today who was having "down" times and I said "well, that's the dead fish floating downstream after a red tide of bad thoughts. Better to be the good fish of Jesus serving breakfast on the beach after his resurrection saying "I survived my cross, you will too." (Pisces is the sign of the fish-one in each direction.) It also rules the feet, for me meaning to walk instep with God and for us mystical messes at times, Sunday is a routine resurrection of sacred time. At least that has been my lenten practice. Clarity to me is always a resurrection from the tomb. Thank you for your reflections.
My moment was not nearly as spiritual as some of the others I've read but just as freeing. I am a nurse, now inn my 70s and retired for several years. I have done many things as a nurse, including a year in Vietnam as a member of the Army Nurse Corps to repay a generous college scholarship.
I loved clinical, hands on nursing, but I also had a Masters Degree in nursing, so when my kids got to be of college age I took a job at University #1 to decrease the cost of my daughters' tuition. Because I didn't have and didn't want a PhD I was told to find another job .after I had been there 5 years. I found a better teaching job 2 months later. I loved my colleagues at my new job, teaching freshman nursing students. I thought I'd never leave. And I continued to work a day here and there at the hospital where I'd cut me teeth as a maternal child nurse.
But the Department Chair had a mean streak that she aimed directly at the freshmen faculty. One morning halfway through a routine but very stressful meeting I went to the practice lab. I was going to take my own blood pressure but one of my students did instead. It was 190/110. YIKES!
When I went home that afternoon I told my husband about it. "Do you think I should quit?" Our youngest was in his last year of college. I thought about going back to clinical nursing and also write about Vietnam. Within the week I resigned and returned to my beloved hospital. Gone were my free summers, gone were knowing I'd have every holiday off. But my health was better.
And then, as if it was in God's great design, before I had resigned from my teaching job, or told the hospital I wanted to return my old/new job, my boss called to tell me she couldn't understand why, with an MSN my salary was so low. She offered me a substantial raise if I'd come back to work 2 nights a week. Yes, I had to work the night shift--to earn the same amount as I had teaching. But these colleagues were old friends, too. I loved working with young moms, having the opportunity to silently pray for each new family, and, maybe best of all giving up a 45 minute commute for one that took 5 minutes.
Thank you for this. I've tossed two, maybe three careers so far. I went from a dairy farm in the pacific northwest to a university on the South Side of Chicago. Did well there. Graduated with honors and a fellowship to study classical Chinese history. But at a certain point, I couldn't take it any longer and returned to the farm. I often regret that, but it couldn't have been any other way. I was a carpenter for a while, then got a degree in computing, where I ended up a divisional vice president of a corrupt Fortune 500 corporation. I retired from that a little too early for financial security and turned to writing, which was all I ever wanted. Frankly, I am struggling with Easter, but I feel its presence.