Fukushima Easter 2011 — A Poem

By Dennis Rivers

This Easter I have been depressed
about the fate of the Japanese
as they face their natural
and man-made disasters.
It is hard to imagine
how they will extricate themselves
from their tomb of radioactive sorrows
kin washed out to sea
birth defects that will continue for centuries.

A friend sent me a link to a video
about Christians in a Beirut restaurant
suddenly standing up and singing
a beautiful Easter hymn.
He is risen!

The video inspired
a whole flood of new thoughts in me
about the spiritual meaning of the resurrection.
If one begins with the idea that God is love,
then every moment in the Christian tradition
would have a meaning related to radiant compassion
if we were to look for it.
Who is risen?  What is risen?

The crucifixion
is not only the experience of Jesus.
It is our experience as well.
The love that we were born to live
is crucified daily
by capitalism, communism, industrialism
or whatever system of domination
we happen to live under.
But the miracle is
that you can’t kill love.
And that is what the resurrection is about.

Even though our faith in life
often seems utterly destroyed
by ten thousand clever swindlers
smiling nuclear power plant salesmen
drug companies that sell tainted medicine
politicians who go to church on Sunday
and support the practice of torture the rest of the week
naval officers with lots of ribbons explaining why
the whales are not as important as our fear and greed
and must be sacrificed to the sonar gods
old generals cling to power
children die in the streets
the list goes on and on…

Even though we bear these thousand crucifixions
even though we live
in what seems like an endless tomb
with nothing to comfort us
but the bones of John and Robert Kennedy
the bones of Martin Luther King
the bones of Archbishop Romero
which is to say
with nothing at all to comfort us
even then
you can’t kill love.

Coming from the ancient roots of life
unfurling in our DNA like a fern unfolding
when we have given up all hope
when all reason to believe has left us
love still comes back to claim us
saying you are my very own children
go forth from this dark place
and shine with my light

that we would bear all these wounds
these savage betrayals
and still come again to care about people
still come again to care
about all the creatures of the Earth
is truly a resurrection as miraculous
as the bringing of a dead body
back to life.

WE are risen!



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