Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Eastering by Lynn D. Morrissey {Guest Post}

 
I am honored to have Lynn D. Morrissey with us today, sharing a Lenten reflection from her rich archives. Lynn sings with her pen. She has composed a beautiful paean to laud our Beloved Jesus as we approach the triumph of Easter.
 
 
“Let him Easter in us, be a dayspring to the dimness of us, be a crimson-cresseted east.” ―Gerard Manley Hopkins
 
 “For behold, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers have already blossomed and have given forth their fragrance. Arise, . . . and come away!” ¾Song of Solomon
 
 
The winter is officially past. Spring has come, and our daughter is off from school on her spring break. My family and I have “come away” from city life, and we celebrate spring’s arrival with time together at our cozy cabin-in-the-woods. Nonetheless, it still looks and feels like winter.
 
A riotous rain has hurriedly come and gone. After waiting for the downpour to end, my husband Michael, daughter Sheridan, and pit Poodle Chevy, as we affectionately call him, have gone for a ramble in the crisp, cold woods.
 
I have already ventured outside earlier this morning, chilled to the bone, on a walk by the wind-whipped lake. I prefer now to cloister inside the heated cabin and watch the woods from my ringside seat behind a window¾my window on the world, the world awaiting the transition from winter to spring, from death to life.
 
All is dun-dulled: The trees’ mostly leafless limbs weave a wintry web of browns, grays, camels, charcoals, crisscrossed against the pewter-rinsed sky. Fallen leaves, crumbled and lifeless, spread a crushed carpet of decay across the dampened earth. A few forlorn leaves, pitifully shriveled, shockingly petrified, still cling to branches, as if they had refused to let go and die a graceful death.
 
How can it possibly be spring, with death hovering everywhere?
 
But then, I turn my glance. I’m startled by a sunburst of brilliant yellow piercing the dimness. Jaunty jonquils, like lemon-licked pinwheels, twirl in the breeze. Beyond them, neon-brass forsythias bloom brazenly, as if just daring the remnants of winter to remain one second longer. The flowers have at long last bloomed, proof that spring is really here, that the earth is ethereally Eastering.
 
The juxtaposition staggers me: stark death and stunning life. Their paradox penetrates me to the core. Death surrenders to life. Death is not the end. It doesn’t have the final, awful word. But also, paradoxically, death must reign before life triumphs.
 
Yet does life triumph in me? Am I allowing God to Easter me? Am I among the living dead, filled with self, or am I brimming with life, *His* life? Is my heart winter-gray, flawed with sin and mediocrity, or Son-shine yellow, flooded with the dayspring light of Christ’s purity and purpose?
 
Too often death reigns in me. I don’t permit life’s triumph. I am wretched. I am bound. Will I never be set free?
 
But then . . . I turn my glance. I’m startled by the Sonburst shattering of a stone-sealed tomb. He has risen. Jesus lives. Jesus lives in me!
 
And I live in Him. He says, “Behold . . . the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. Eternal spring has come.”
 
He says, “Arise!” And I arise. And by His strength I come away. I come away and set my heart on heavenly things. I come away and turn my glance, turn it Sonward toward the crimson-cresseted East.
 
(Copyright 2013. All Rights Reserved. Lynn D. Morrissey)
 
 
Lynn D. Morrissey, is a Certified Journal Facilitator (CJF), founder of Heartsight Journaling, a ministry for reflective journal-writing, author of Love Letters to God: Deeper Intimacy through Written Prayer and other books, contributor to numerous bestsellers, an AWSA and CLASS speaker, and professional soloist. She and her beloved husband, Michael, have been married since 1975 and have a college-age daughter, Sheridan. They live in St. Louis, Missouri.

You may contact Lynn at words@brick.net.

Please feel to comment on this post, as she will be checking comments. As all writers do, she appreciates feedback and your responses to her work.

18 comments:

  1. Lynn, so blessed to see you here! I am so grateful that Kel, jarred my memory of your beautiful book! That it was on my shelf just waiting for the time for me to embrace it and it me...this post is such a testimony to the poetic prose that God gives...through you! I have been pondering my desire for Spring and birthing a poem. But even your words whisper such gentle encouragement and reminders of His love, grace...mercy and the way He binds us all by His blood into this amazing body, sisterhood of faith! So blessed.Thanks for sharing here today!

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    1. Lynn D. MorrisseyMarch 27, 2013 at 2:31 PM

      Dawn, you are so dear to comment here, and I am still so incredulous that you had my book and suddenly realized it when Kel began posting about it! When one writes a book, particularly over ten years ago now, one never knows where it will land. Imagine my surprise to discover that it was sitting on the shelf in the home of a complete stranger! And yet, as you yourself so beautifully note, we are not really strangers at all. Those who love Jesus are inextricably and permanently bound by the rich vein of His blood. And I have a feeling we will be mining that vein for all eternity. I was so thrilled to read that you love poetry. I truly encourage you to take out your pen and journal and begin to write a poem about, as you say, perhaps spring, the resurrection, new birth, and/or the Lord. Poetry is potent because it encapsulates such profound thoughts in the most brief, econimic way, thus stripping away extraneous verbiage that is unessential. Of course, most poetry accomplishes this artfully, paying attention not just to meaning but to the lush eloquence of language. Perhaps you will begin posting your poetry at your website. I hope so! I know I shall enjoy reading it! Thanks again, Dawn, for posting.....and what a beautiful name you have, as we hover expectantly on the dawn of Easter!
      Love
      Lynn

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    2. Hi Lynn!

      I have shared my poetry and here is one I shared Sunday
      http://beneaththesurface-dawn.blogspot.com/2013/03/springs-desire.html

      But your writing and commenting are truly anointed (if you don't mind me saying so...I love the way words come out of you beautifully, grace-laden and full of Holy Wisdom.

      I will be sharing a post linking all my poetry for National Poetry month- in April!

      You are a blessing!

      Thanks Kel, for your portion in the bloggy world. You do bless this sista!

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    3. Hi Dawn,
      I hadn't realized that you had commented again. Sorry. Thank you for these very gracious words--so kind and very humbling. I'm grateful more than I can say. I LOVED your poem and tried to comment on your site, but couldn't get it to work. :-( So I am putting here what I wrote there! :-) Thank you again! You are a blessing, and it goes without saying that Kel is!
      This is so lovely, Dawn. I hadn't realized that you were a poet, until you expressed that over at Kel's blog. You've captured the beauty of spring, renewal, hope, and passion in this these exquisite verses--a lovesong to your Creator. And I loved your double entendre with "pupil"--very neat. I'm so glad that we also share a passion for journaling. We may thank Kel and our precious Jesus for introducing us. I'm indebted!
      Love
      Lynn

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  2. thank you, Kel, for sharing this space with Lynn--what lovely words.
    We can look at the death and the winter-ing in our lives and forget about the lover who lives in our hearts...

    Lynn, these lines spoke to me--
    "I turn my glance. I’m startled by the Sonburst shattering of a stone-sealed tomb. He has risen. Jesus lives. Jesus lives in me!
    And I live in Him. He says, “Behold . . . the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. Eternal spring has come.”

    Hallelujah!

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    1. Lynn D. MorrisseyMarch 27, 2013 at 2:36 PM

      Oh, Hallelujah!, indeed, Jody Lee! Don't we serve an amazing Savior, who conquered death and burst through the stone-sealed tomb?! This is the most amazing miracle of all miracles. Nothing like it, except perhaps our new birth. And to think that because Jesus conquered death, we, too, will burst through our graves one day. I also love how you talk about the "wintering" of our lives. It's so easy to live as if it were winter all year long--dead to the things of Christ. And yes, then we forget about the Lover who does LIVE in us when we do that. But I can tell that YOU have not forgotten! I can tell that there is an eternal springtime budding in your heart! I so much appreciate your gracious comments! Thank you for taking time to drop by.
      Love
      Lynn

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  3. I love how you used "Easter me" here, Lynni. I have been pondering on the root word for Easter too. I realized that comes from East.... which connotes sunshine and daylight. I also could picture the gold yellow sign of life bathed in sunlight.... Sonshine, Sonlight, Sonburst.

    May we reflect the Easter in us through Him who made the ultimate sacrifice, conquered death and darkness and rose to Easter us, to let us shine. He lives and we live with Him, in Him and for Him.

    Happy Easter, Lynni with my love.

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    1. Lynn D. MorrisseyMarch 27, 2013 at 2:41 PM

      Oh Lo, and a very happy Easter to you!! You have waxed poetically here, and I love the way you have expressed this "Eastring spirit." Yes, we see the word East in Easter, and you are right to express all you did about Jesus, our Savior, in terms of Light. For He is the Light of the world, and in Him there is NO darkness at all! And because He sacrificed everything for us, now we can live in His light eternally. May we give everything we are, everything we have to Him. That is exactly what you are doing with every stroke on your keyboard, every encouraging word that you so graciously offer on the blogosphere, every kindness you administer to those you love and to strangers whom you meet. Thank you for being the light of Christ to me, Lo! And yes, again I say, HAPPY EASTER!
      Love
      Lynni

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  4. I love your juxtaposition of stark contrast of death and life at this early part of spring and the contrast of death and life in Holy Week. And then the way you tied in the verse from the Song of Songs. So sweet that invitation becomes! A very blessed Easter to you!

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    1. Lynn D. MorrisseyMarch 27, 2013 at 2:45 PM

      Sylvie, I so appreciate your taking time to visit and read and to make this profound comment about juxtaposition.....paradox, really. There are so many paradoxes evident in the Christian life....and perhaps greatest of all is that the Holy God, who is Light and Life, would love unholy sinners who live in darkness. But praise God! He didn't leave us that way. And He offers an invitation that we would be fools not to accept......to receive Christ's atonement for our sins and the gift of eternal life. I love that you are always living in the light and pointing so many to Him through your exquisite writing at your blog. God has shown me His light so often through *your* words. May He bless you richly this Easter as you have blessed so many!
      Love
      Lynn

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  5. The earth cracks open resurrection life as the seasons shift, speaking of new life even when we cannot feel it. And perhaps most of life is lived here in the in-between of waiting with hope for what is not yet, but promised. Lovely seeing your words here Lynn, you've created a beautiful scene of hope on the horizon.

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    1. [Reply from Lynn Morrissey. I (Kel Rohlf) apologize, I think I did something wrong when I sent the comment to be posted, so I had to just paste it in this time :(]

      Shelly, I can't begin to tell you how heartwarming it is to read your personal words to me here at Kel's blog. How I miss being able to comment to you on your blog (because of a technical difficulty), and then to receive your warm, encouraging responses, in turn. This is like old times.....and yet with fresh, new inspiration from you. Thank you so very much. Even in just three short sentences you have relayed something rich and profound. This idea you convey of "new life," even when we can't *feel* it, is vital. So often we assume there is no new life, because our feelings have not caught up with the reality of it. You remind me that there is always new life when Jesus lives in us--always, whether we feel it or not. I am enduring a difficult and personal in-between waiting ordeal. It's a bit scary and certainly uncomfortable. But I thank *you* for reminding me that I wait with hope. I wait with Jesus! Bless you, dear one, for helping others always to wait with grace. You are one special lady, Shelly!....as is your writing. I read each and every one of your posts with amazement and joy!
      Love
      Lynn

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  6. Wow... That is writing... I could feel the change - the coming to Life. How I enjoy reading Lynn's words. Brings true Easter to my heart in way only words from God can... Thanks to Lynn for sharing her wonderful heart and Kel for hosting. Awesome, Ladies. Thank you.

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    1. Lynn D. MorrisseyMarch 27, 2013 at 9:31 PM

      Well, I've been called a lot of things, Floyd, but not an awesome lady. You are so very kind. Thank you. And I know our dear Kel thanks you too! It's so nice to have a gentleman caller at the blog. Your perspective is always so much appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to read and to comment. I'm so glad that you could sense the transition....that God is Eastering you, and that you know His life in you, personally. I know that you, Diane, and the girls are joyfully anticipating Resurrection Sunday. I think we will all burst from our pews with great joy. We always sing "Christ the Lord Is Risen Today" at our church, and I can barely contain my joy with every melismatic "Alleluia!"
      Happy Easter, Floyd!
      Fondly
      Lynn

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    2. Thanks, Lynn. Happy Easter to you and yours as well. God bless.

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  7. I love what you wrote about the Sonburst, Lynn! This is so beautiful and really speaks to the resurrection hope God is pouring over us... and to all the prayers in this season we are in. God is holding you and speaking through you! Thanks for sharing, and thanks Kel for spotlighting this today!

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  8. And, Pam, thank *you* for visiting and commenting. You are a writer of light, always concentrating on beauty and goodness, and I think that this kind of encouragement -- Easter encouragement-- is so needed in a world of bleakness and barrenness and death. You always point your readers to the Light of the World, whose resurrection we will celebrate tomorrow. I'm so glad that the post resonated with you, and I pray that you experience a glorious Eastering in your heart this Easter! And yes, wow, Kel is so dear to invite my posts and to connect hearts!
    Love
    Lynn

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  9. I missed this over Easter week as I was wireless in the cabin down south. Which causes to me to relate to that exact place and time...a shared momentt in time....I too was looking out my cabin window from the warmth inside at the hues of winter, wondering, "Where is spring?" and there it was....hues of gold...the jonquils and the forsythia waking up beneath the rays of golden sunlight. Alas, my heart is hopeful that we shall see yet another arising, a quickening, a hope that seemed so dim and cold, so gray and foreign. It was there all along, just beneath the surface waiting for it's moment of glory. I smiled, as I queried, "How could I have missed it?" Thank you Lynni for so beautifully capturing this Easter moment. Thank you Kel for giving us a place to feed on words, to encourage and be encouraged.
    Love you both!
    Kelly

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