I’m always glad to remember that Easter is a season, not just one holy day. After all, restoration is not a moment–it is an arduous, painful process.
I love how Christina Rossetti, one of my favorite Victorians, names this hard work of resurrection. How she counts all our brokennesses. How she identifies all the ways we ourselves can do nothing to redeem our own lives. Indeed, how the bleakness we inhabit blinds us to sights of refreshment and renewal (“everlasting hills” and green “buds”).
But how we are redeemed, nevertheless. Restored for divine service.
A Better Resurrection
by Christina Rossetti
I have no wit, no words, no tears;
My heart within me like a stone
Is numb’d too much for hopes or fears;
Look right, look left, I dwell alone;
I lift mine eyes, but dimm’d with grief
No everlasting hills I see;
My life is in the falling leaf:
O Jesus, quicken me.
My life is like a faded leaf,
My harvest dwindled to a husk:
Truly my life is void and brief
And tedious in the barren dusk;
My life is like a frozen thing,
No bud nor greenness can I see:
Yet rise it shall—the sap of Spring;
O Jesus, rise in me.
My life is like a broken bowl,
A broken bowl that cannot hold
One drop of water for my soul
Or cordial in the searching cold;
Cast in the fire the perish’d thing;
Melt and remould it, till it be
A royal cup for Him, my King:
O Jesus, drink of me.