I have a Word document called “Blog Ideas 10” on my desktop. It is 74 pages long and 27,909 words deep. I’ve used this same document to write my blogs for so long that I don’t even remember another document, though there must have been a “Blog Ideas 1,” “Blog Ideas 2,” etc. Those, apparently, are ancient history.
In “Blog Ideas 10” is a very long string of blogs—some that have been published and some that never made the cut. There are quotes and ideas and concepts I’ll never develop. There’s even a story about looking for a dime on the floor of the library that I thought was very funny, but when I tested it out with my mom, she said, “I don’t get the point.” That one went where all mediocre blogs go to die: page 72.
Today on pages one and two of “Blog Ideas 10,” there are five blogs that I have started to write to you and have stopped. Some of them were Lent themes, but Lent has come and gone. One was for the Triduum, which has also come and gone. Here are their names:
· I Will Hug It
· I Will Spit You Out of My Mouth
· God Is Lover Not Protector
· A Note to My Fellow Smelly Sheep
· It Is My Joy to Tell You to Hope
Perhaps it is more fun for you to imagine the contents of what those blogs would have been. Perhaps I’ll finish them. But it might be a while.
For now, swirling around me is so much bad news—and at Eastertime, a time of joy. A world struggling, friends struggling, a country and a church divided, strangers in comas, people moving away, death and dying, time flying. I’m not usually one to give in to melancholy, but lately, I admit, it’s tempting.
And so this melancholy has brought me to a place where all writers stand from time to time. The place is: “Everything has already been said.” The echo through the centuries: “There is nothing new under the sun.” The downtrodden (but wise) author of Ecclesiastes developed the theme: “What has been, that will be; what has been done, that will be done. Nothing is new under the sun! Even the thing of which we say, ‘See, this is new!’ has already existed in the ages that preceded us” (Ecc 1:9-10). The cycles of life and death have been established. Is there anything new to think or experience or say?
As my children sat at the Easter table dyeing eggs, my son Julian broke three of his ten eggs. “I keep dropping them,” he said. Easter eggs have been breaking for ages preceding us. Easter can be a fragile time.
Friends, family, and those of you who are strangers to me, I pray for you today. I don’t pray for your happiness or your protection. I don’t know how to pray for those things right now. But today I see in your heart the fragility of Easter, and I hold it as gently as I can, like an egg I dye with my children. As others have done for me in the ages that preceded us.
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