The Seeds We Are: on death and resurrection

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I woke up weeping twice last week. The dreamed anguish spilling out and pooling on my pillow: the imagined bleeding into reality. Both times, I dreamt a family member died.

We all know this pain—in the already-experienced pang of loss or in the wary waiting, knowing what’s to come amidst having “them” near. The reality of loss seems to loom nearer, the older I get. I wonder when “their” car pulls away and out of view—“will I see them again?” When I see an accident in the news, I wonder whose faces will be pictured. Will I know them?

During those mornings last week, as I wiped away the dream-tears and struggled to find my way back to reality, I was, in the end, confronted with the truth of the dreams, however falsely they were timed. We all understand the reality of death. The way it sneaks in and steals the ones we love. The way we don’t know when it’s coming—we just know that it is.

The way this fear can hide itself in dreams and tormented wake-ups in the darkness of night. And the way, sometimes, it becomes too much for us.

And yet, He sees us in these places. I’m consistently thankful for the Lord’s timing. The way He sees my thoughts and questions and fears and feeds me the answers I crave.

I’ve been reading in 1 Corinthians and came across the section about the resurrection of the dead. Paul chastises the Corinthians for not believing that people can be raised from the dead. He spells it out clear: if no one can, then Christ didn’t. And if Christ didn’t, then we won’t. And then the comfort: but Christ did, and we will.

Not believing this—not placing our daily realities into this eternal perspective—suggests a lack of faith, or of understanding, in Jesus’ resurrection. That pivotal reality means there is a new, resurrected, reunited reality coming. And—to my soul—that speaks hope.

Paul, continuing on in the hope of eternal life, compares our future resurrection to a seed.

When the outer shell breaks open, the life within buds out green and growing. The outer shell, that we’ve been accustomed to for so long—that we love, in its familiarity and nearness—is completely destroyed in the transition. And something far more glorious is made manifest. Something different, and beautiful, and living.

About this miraculous transition, we receive the comforting words: “The body that is sown perishable, it is raised imperishable, it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body” 1 Corinthians 15:42-44.

I’m breathing this in and out and speaking it with boldness to my fears. That, though I can’t imagine the pain of losing such precious people even for a time, it will not be the end. It will be at that time that life takes its firmest hold on us and blooms us into spiritual beings.

Glory. What a thing to anticipate.

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