Roll Away Your Stone

I saw, recently, a variety of different references to the story of a woman living in southern Vermont whose family stopped eating sugar for a year. I was a little curious, having known of these people when I lived there a decade or so ago, so I clicked on one of the links and essentially what I found there was a version of...we stopped eating'd be shocked by how much sugar there is in everything!...we felt so much better.

All the news that's fit to print, right? 

For some reason this story kept nudging at my consciousness. Probably because everyone already knows what the deal is with sugar, but also because this seemed like yet another attempt at what feels like an out-of-control need on the part of every single person on the planet to call attention to him or herself. Why couldn't this family simply have stopped eating sugar and not told anyone? Have we gone so far off the rails to believe that this is a story deserving national attention? At what point will people stop pulling public hijinx like this in the name of extreme naval-gazing? Besides, everyone knows that childhood and sugar are inextricably linked. To deprive kids of candy and cupcakes isn't nice. Birthdays? Halloween? Come on.

I fixed a plumbing issue yesterday, all by myself. It required tools, patience and the pipes through which water mysteriously flows through this house -- all things with which I am infinitely unfamiliar. And let me tell you...I was pretty fucking proud of myself. "Hm, I thought...maybe I'll give up calling plumbers for a year...I'll blog about it...No Plumbers For One woman's journey into self-reliant home maintenance.

See what I mean?

There are stories and then there are Stories.

As luck would have it, we happen to be in the thick of a week when one of the greatest goddamned stories ever took place. About two thousand years ago a guy named Jesus died, and then he came back to life. He stayed dead for three days, then he rolled back the stone from the tomb where his body had been laid and he walked back out into daylight and wandered around among the people. Basically he went back to doing what he had done before he died: he sought out the emotionally, physically, financially and spiritually impoverished and he took care of them.

You and I both know that dead people are supposed to stay dead. So the fact that the dude came back and went back to doing his thing, not as a spirit, but as a living person, was pretty unexpected. I would imagine that the people who witnessed this event probably thought it was...weird. And that's what makes it so great. That it was way, way beyond anyone's ability to make sense of it. I would call that a God thing: calling a person out of their darkness and back into the light and back into service. Boom. God is in the building.

The other great thing about the Jesus story is that all these years later it's still relevant: We all have our share of darknesses. We have our caves; we die small deaths over and over. And that crazy and wonderful God never stops wanting us to come back out into the light, always, without end. God's grace manifests itself abundantly in our daily lives. We are human, we screw up almost everything we get out hands on, and yet...the stone rolls away and we get another chance and another and another.

There are stories and then there are Stories. 

Please. I can't take another word about sugar. Or another heavily-orchestrated moment when cancer patients are made-up like clowns or strangers are forced to kiss each other and it's all captured on film so as to manipulate an emotional reaction. Every day we are bombarded with so many absurd distractions that it's easy to forget we hold a deep and profound purpose as humans: "to be conduits through which the sublime passes through the world."

Get busy.

Happy Easter