“The True Self is the Risen Christ in you, and hence, it is not afraid of death. It has already been to hell and back.” Richard Rohr, Immortal Diamond: The Search for Our True Self (Jossey-Bass: 2013), 142-144.
Richard Rohr is reminding us that the Christ in each of us is the risen Christ. The Christ within us, our core being, is there to let us know constantly that we are resurrected people. The Christ within us knows about death and dying, and just as importantly promises us resurrection out of every situation, every part of us that seems to have died or has gone the wrong way. When we connect to the Christ within, our core of love, we will begin to see resurrection out of every difficult situation. We will see difficulties with new eyes. Sometimes resurrection happens as soon as three days, but more often it takes much longer.
I see resurrection most often and most vividly in the grief recovery groups we work with. We see men and women who were paralyzed by the death of a loved one begin a new life, often a life of service to others who are suffering.
My own resurrection stories are ones you have heard many times. I was in a car accident in medical school that injured me for the rest of my life. My resurrection experience was that I had to leave school and drop back into another class. That is where I met my husband Robert of almost fifty years. Anyone who knows him will know what an amazing man he is. Later on, in my work as a physician, some of my children started acting out. I knew this was a message. The resurrection was that I began taking off one day a week, Wednesday, and was there waiting for my children when they came home with homemade brownies. Twenty-eight years ago on November 18th I had a moment of clarity and realized that alcohol was beginning to impair my life. The resurrection was a 12-step group that changed me and how I relate to others.
We try to connect to the resurrected Christ within us by all the multitude of spiritual practices and in turn learn to wait and look for resurrection in our lives and the lives of others. Often, however, God breaks through when we least expect it.
We are like the women bringing spices, myrrh, to the empty tomb, often trying to understand what could possibly come out of such an awful situation. We grieve, we wait, trying to stay aware of our next step, trying to do the next right thing, and being open to the resurrection that we have been promised will happen.