What do you hope for?
In my Episcopal tradition we are now in the season of Easter: not a single day, but a fifty-day season that follows Lent. It’s fifty days because we want this season to be longer than Lent. Lent was a time of preparation for Easter, and now, Easter is here.
So, is Easter what you were expecting? Think about the first Easter, when the women went to Jesus’ tomb to anoint him, but the stone was rolled away, and it was empty. Not what they were expecting. Their immediate reaction was not one of joy, but confusion. It took a while to figure out what was going on.
That brings me comfort as I near the end of the process of writing my first book, Blessed Are the Barren: The Fruits of Infertility. My manuscript is due May 2 to Eerdmans, and while I have a draft, the whole thing is messier right now than I would like it to be. (This is also the reason today’s newsletter is short!) Right now, I’m revising each chapter, seeing how many words I wrote about each woman, reading each section aloud and then listening on my morning walks. Speaking of messy, when I listen to various chapters I make notes on my phone via voice texting, and that is definitely a mess, with Nicodemus becoming Nicky Demus, or somehow my phone gave Mary Magdalene a “pimp.” I still can’t figure out how that one happened, but I was annoyed.
While I’ve been immersed in my book, other things are happening too: in-person Holy Week services. An unrestricted Easter Sunday after two years of livestreams or restrictions. My first in-person yoga class since 2020. And most spectacularly, the first baptism at St. David’s since 2020. In the past two years I’ve tried to temper expectations, but given all this good news, hope is springing up in me like all the things in bloom in this beautiful spot of Virginia.
I saw my cardiothoracic surgeon on Thursday. When I asked him if I needed another booster, he said, “Not yet. Right now, I’m only recommending them for people over 65 or with serious health concerns.”
“Having one and a half lungs isn’t a serious health concern?” I asked this man who removed half of my left lung in April 2020.
He smiled. (OK, he was masked, but I could tell he smiled.) “Not anymore,” he said. “Because now you’re two years out.”
I’m praying that I can stay in this group of people without “serious” health concerns for a while. It feels great, as do my sore legs from in-person yoga. I’m grateful. I want to continue my Lenten practice of savoring and not be too greedy; but I’m also hoping for more baptisms and yoga and books.
What are your expectations and hopes in this season of the pandemic? (Or if you’re Christian like me, in this season of Easter?) Let me know in the comments.
What I’m Writing:
I love this piece I co-wrote with the amazing Melissa Perrin, my first piece in Duke’s Faith & Leadership. Check it out!
Here’s a review that posted in Christian Century last month for a terrific book.
Sermons (lots of them due to Holy Week!):
What I’m Reading:
The Five Wounds: Really touching literary novel that has a lot to say about faith.
The Sanatorium: A thriller/mystery.
Hallelujah, Anyhow!: For chapter nine of Blessed Are the Barren.