My Easter Sunday….and pole vaulting

At last I have something to write about. For the first time in a long time, my cursor flies across the page trying to keep up with my thoughts. For the first time in many weeks, I feel the natural joy that usually spills from my personality but that which in the last weeks has felt forced from the stress of life. Today I write freely. For the first time in nineteen years, I celebrate Easter away from home. Despite my low expectations for this day, God made this day beautiful by wiping away all my pitiful expectations. He turned my sorrow into dancing into a hopeful expectation of time with the Lord. He has not disappointed me.

My day begins where I am now. “Be still and know that I am God.

I do not know why I chose to come here to the cemetery behind our school. Somehow sitting among the rows of marble stones lifts me up when I feel burdened. Even though an overwhelming emotion swelled inside of me as I looked out over a lifeless expanse marked by graves, I knew death did not have the final say. I found myself wandering. I walked over the blades of grass that had just popped their spiky heads up through the earth. Pushed and pulled by the swirling wind, the expanse moved in a unified glittering ocean of silver-green tide. Just before coming here, I watched the sun rise up from its bed beneath the horizon. Everything rose up before me in resurrection.

Early this morning we gathered together as a church to read the story of The Risen One. As we neared the end of our readings, the sun began to fill the sky with its glory. It seemed to say, “though you finish proclaiming the Truth of His victory with your mouth, I the Sun show you what that story looks like in glory…though just a small taste of my glory for my power will blind you in full force.” We drove away from the sunrise service before gathering together again in the church. Some would nap before church. I began to yawn in happy agreement with the idea, but a small boy running down the street stopped the yawn. He ran like Forest Gump. Legs and arms pumped wildly in anything but good form, yet that hardly mattered in that he was running somewhere urgently—somewhere important. At the red light, we slowed to a stop. He waited on the curb for the light to change. I could tell by his tapping feet that he longed to run again. As soon as our light changed, he bolted. As our car gathered speed, we raced parallel. His gangly stride matched our accelerating vehicle. Up the steps of the church he bounced disappearing into the large doors of the cathedral like a rabbit racing into its hole.

This boy ran to God with all his might. I knew many times my heart did just the opposite of running to God. I ran from Him. Why did I ignore the very God who wants to hear my voice and earnest childlike prayers? Why did I flee from Him who answers all prayers in their proper time? Why do we delight to give fate the glory when good things happen?

Today I felt none of those questions gnawing on me because today I ran to God like that little boy. Maybe God came to me. Maybe he caught me in my vulnerability. Through the light of the sun he found me. Then he held my face in his intimate stare. Last he embraced me though I fought Him in days past twisting from his embrace. I stopped fighting and started seeing. Spring came alive before my eyes.

Yesterday I pushed a pole towards the windows behind the pole vault pits in an attempt to smash through them to freedom. Every time I pounded down the runway, I started out running toward my goal. Every time in the last second before leaping into the air, I leaned back from taking control of the beast in my fists. Rather than being the hunter, I was the prey. I felt the weight of the pole whip me about like a tigress shakes a beast before tearing it apart. I was supposed to be the lioness. My red hair gathered like a mane around my shoulders before I tied it back for vault. The results of that day ended in dismal failure. I no heighted. NH. No mark. No score. No clearance. “No faith,” I scolded myself. “What the heck?” I said coming off the mat. How could I start running with such fervor and such energy and at the last stride lose sight of everything?

This morning I take my brokenness and dried spirit and lay it at the cross of Christ. If He can resurrect the bodies buried beneath this ground, the blades of grass hidden in the dirt, the leaves on the tree branches, the sun now above the horizon, my pole vaulting, and most of all the Son of God, I can hope. Though I spend this Easter morning “among the dead,” I am actually among the living. For here He reminds me a thousand times on every tombstone the promise of redemption. Though life on earth is not guaranteed, through His death and resurrection, life with Him in heaven is.

This week I vault again. I will rise up on the wings of an eagle in Isaiah. I will go to war like the horse in Job. I will attack the pole in my grip like a lioness tearing up her prey. I will run to God like that little boy on Easter morning. I will hope in Christ alone. My name is Kathryn Grace Bassette. My name means Pure Grace Little Person, and I am a daughter of the King. Are you?

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