Life to Death to Life

Life to Death to Life

Each time I lift the lid I know not much will have changed, but my fascination with my new compost bin does not wane. My curiosity with the process of decomposition rivals that of any five year-old’s curiosity about everything. I am surprised how much moldy strawberries, which have begun to attract ants to my kitchen, thrill me, but this little pile of rot brings my heart to life each time I lift the lid.

It all seems so spiritual to me. Nothing wasted. Life to death to life. A breaking down of things to build something new. Giving back to the earth what it has given to me. Who knew that a little grey and green rubber bin perched atop my kitchen counter could draw me closer to truth, to God?

A while back I asked a friend what she knew to be true, what beliefs about God were central to her Christian faith. When we came to the idea of the death and resurrection of Christ, her face revealed the longing of her heart even before her words did, “I desperately want the death and resurrection to be true. Everything about it seems central and symbolic to our lived experiences.”

Life to death to life and back around again. This cycle is both tangible—physical, lived, and perpetually spiritual and other wordly. It is a cycle of recurring hope and pain, of joy and expectancy, and of suffering and mourning. In this life, it does not end, a fact which fills one with gratitude or bitterness depending on where one finds themselves in the life-to-death cycle.

For years I have found Jesus in my kitchen. As I use all my senses to create something that nourishes, cooking grounds me in this world. And now I have another act of worship in my kitchen routine. As I slice off the rotten part of my tomato, open the lid and toss it on top of the moldy strawberries, I sense the Kingdom that is hiding in plain sight. I thank Mother Earth for providing for me and ask the Spirit to receive my humble offering to again bring life from death.

That is the way of the cross and the way we have been called to live: life to death to life.

I believe the longing of my friend’s heart which I saw on her face and in her words that day is universal. We may use different words and we will share different stories, but life and death are universal and the deep yearning for a greater purpose in it all is, too. The cross and resurrection may not be logical, but it is true. My heart and soul affirm this even when my head feels shaken by the absurdity of it all.

My call as a Jesus follower is, yes, to bring life where there is death, but maybe just as importantly to recognize when things in me and the world need to die in order that new life may spring up. For the Kingdom is not yet fully realized here on earth and so there is much around us and in us that is in desperate need of a good death.

It is past time for white supremacy and economic inequality to be thrown in the compost bin, to experience their long overdue death. My judgmental, critical heart and my worried spirit are better off with the molded strawberries. The world and my life are full of rot we cannot seem to let go of, and it is poisoning us and killing our sisters and brothers.

My most beloved promise of God is that He works all things together for our good. This promise is profound, radical and a bit illogical. The suffering inflicted on me by the world? Worked for good. My bumbling mistakes? Worked for good. My outright rebellion and sin? Worked for good.

There is no death He cannot and will not bring life from.

But we have a responsibility. We have a call to know rot when we smell it, to take a sharp knife and cut it out, no matter the cost. With great fervor and hope, we must open the compost bin and toss the sin of the world and our own hearts on top of the moldy strawberries, shut the lid tightly and wait for God to once again bring resurrection.

Excerpt from "Singleness & the Myth of Scarcity"

Excerpt from "Singleness & the Myth of Scarcity"

Perspectives on Catholicism and womanhood

Perspectives on Catholicism and womanhood