Empire of Dirt

Yesterday was Good Friday and I wrote about “The Death of Good Friday” and the way we do the avoy-dance (a dance of avoidance) about death.  Today, we talk about dirt. Yes, dirt.

In my blog yesterday, I purposely omitted any mention of resurrection or any means of easing the tension of the drama of Good Friday. And we want to relive that tension, so badly. On Good Friday I attended a performance Bach’s St. John’s Passion.  At the end, there was silence and then the church bells rang out in the silence in a church full with about 800 people. It was powerful, tense, emotive and soul wrenching. After almost a minute of silence and bells, someone shouted out in German, “That was wonderful.” Suddenly, people laughed, started to get out of their seats and the rumble of voices in a large church grew louder. We are simply uncomfortable with the deeply resonating last words of the Passion and so desperately wanted to not feel what was being felt.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not Moaning Myrtle (Harry Potter) who sits in her cubicle and thinks about her own death all day. I’m also not one to dwell in the depths of despair (like Anne of Green Gables). But I am about feeling the right thing at the right time. And Lent and Good Friday are about examining the bigger questions before getting to the party.

The day after Good Friday is that in between time, where for a brief moment, life returns to normal. The shops are open, for starters.  We don’t have to think about death any longer (if we have at all). We relax from the heaviness of the day before and we all know how it ends (SPOILER ALERT-it ends in resurrection) so we’re done getting dirty with death, right?

No.

Something else happens in between. Jesus is buried, in haste. That means the usual burial ceremony was hastened because a religious holiday was coming- quickly (hang on to that because we need it for another blog).  But he is in the tomb. In some Christian traditions, Christ, during his bodily time in the tomb, goes into hell and saves all the souls from the beginning of time. Ok, fine, Jesus goes into hell. But what does that mean?

The story of Easter for a non Christian is still relevant on an energetic level. (Yup. I’m going there).

In our lives, the pattern of Crucifixion is going to be evident no matter our faith belief if we use the following lens. Everyday, we live the resurrection story. We will either be the crucifier and nailing someone to a figurative cross, or we will be crucified by someone else. No, it isn’t get someone before they get you! It isn’t an offensive strategy.

The energy of the crucifixion is one of injustice, punishment and persecution. It is the absence of love. Fine, it may not be as extreme as Jesus’ death, but the point is we are either going to judge someone and cause them pain, or, someone is going to judge us and cause us pain.  (This is NOT to take away the seriousness of those who are persecuted to the point of life or death). After this moment, if we are the crucified, we figuratively go into a tomb, a place filled with dirt, (maybe after an unpleasant outburst), in haste.  The tomb can represent a place of feeling sorry for ourselves, being in darkness or hurt, or something really negative. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

The energy of the second day: if we look at Jesus going in to hell to save souls, does that mean we have to go to hell to? No, it means on the Saturday, there is still work to do. It isn’t just a time of trying to scratch our way out of the tomb or entertaining ourselves until someone lets us out.  It isn’t a time of feeling sorry for ourselves that we got hurt. WE have to go into hell ourselves, but not to save others (Jesus already did that) but to really examine what it is we need to do to to really deal with the issue at hand so it is transformed from the energy of crucifixion to the energy of resurrection. And that takes dwelling in an Empire of Dirt.

Only after we have done the real sequestered work can there be talk of resurrection, or, simply put new life to see our circumstance in a new way. We then see that the power of our transformation is what opens the tomb, not someone else, but our transformation.

If we stay in the tomb too long, it can become dangerous for us. I am reminded of the song by Trent Razor of Nine Inch Nails and a rendition by the late Johnny Cash. These lyrics, to me, represent going in to the tomb and not being able to come out. This is when we get stuck in the crucifixion pattern. 

What have I become
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know goes away
In the end
And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt
Remember, there were TWO other people that were mentioned of being crucified that day with Jesus. Only one of them resurrects a short time later. Why? Because even on the cross Jesus refused to let his spirit be crucified too. He cared for others on the cross in the midst of immense pain and he did not allow himself to become apathetic or turn his pain outward. He chose to love. This love is what conquered death.
So what am I really saying here? First, we are all going to get nailed to a cross somehow. We cannot let that be the final word in which we become bitter. To do that we have to go to the tomb ourselves (of course, the Divine Image in which we are made is with us, so it really isn’t the power of us, but the power of the Divine within us that facilitates this) and do the work. The work is to be open to love. It is a choice. We can choose to stay buried or we can choose to be transformed. When we do the work, we emerge from the tomb resurrected after every situation that hurts us.
A guide for some “Tomb Work”
Think about the situation that felt like a crucifixion where you were ‘crucified’ or ‘crucified’ someone else.
Find a quiet time without distraction to examine this. Be willing to go deep.
Maybe light a candle, burn some incense or something to mark this as sacred time.
Pray for guidance, honesty, wisdom and transformation or anything else you feel you might need.
Ask yourself: what was my part in this? How have I contributed to the situation?
Did I react or respond to this situation? Was I triggered by something?
What was the trigger.
What was the real underlying emotion? (Rejection, anger, or something else)
Where did that feeling come from?
What is it I am supposed to learn from this situation?
How might I respond in a similar situation next time?
Ask yourself any other questions that may arise.
Turn it over to God!
“Holy God, please transform this situation that I may have new life.”
If you are a ‘non believer’ you can do the same without the prayer.
The point is to examine the situation for yourself.

 

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3 Responses to Empire of Dirt

  1. We, atheists, get to enjoy a little vacation with no real motive. It’s just the calendar favoring us.

    Like

  2. Wonderful article Thanks for sharing.

    Like

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