“Forever now we live resurrected, yes we live resurrected even before death. Resurrection begins with faith. Believers see new life manifested every day. Every day we are healed from sin’s death. No longer separated. At peace with God, and neighbor, and enemy, and nature. No longer takers, we give our lives. If we die with him we will rise with our Lord. Embrace your crucifixion. Believe. Death no longer has dominion over Christ. Touch his immortal wounds and see. Death no longer has dominion over us. Death no longer has dominion over me. Pain becomes poetry, ugliness is beautiful. The Beautiful One beaten beyond recognition, the most grotesque injustice ever committed is now our only source of hope. The word of God said, ‘It is finished.’ It fell dead silent, and on the third day, He spoke.”
– Micah Bournes, “Dry Bones”
In February I went on a run along Sunset Cliffs, headphones nested in their usual spot and my feet hitting pavement to the beat of the music. After my cool down, I snagged my journal from the car and sat above the crashing waves, scribbling thoughts to the beat of the music. My heart even beats, it would seem, to the beat of the music. Why am I drowning out the sound of the crashing waves? Why do I always drown out the silence?
It is possible I am afraid of the silence, even more possible that I am afraid of being left alone in my own thoughts for too long. The beat of the music elevates my mood when I need it to and keeps things in movement around me. The beat of the music pushes out the quiet and the unwanted thoughts I am not ready to face. In February I sat above the crashing waves, paused the beat of the music, placed the headphones in my backpack, and didn’t let the music play again until this morning.
Forty days of silence. Restlessness. Discomfort as I drove alone in the car without a single noise, other than my random outbursts of singing to hear something other than the ringing in my ears. To break up the silence, I would sometimes listen to a spoken word poem by Micah Bournes entitled “Dry Bones.” Ironically, his poetry touches on the three days of unbroken silence when Jesus was in the grave, so in my surplus of silence I started contemplating what that could possibly mean.
Easter has always been presented with the hope already attached, the victory already won, Jesus alive and risen from the grave. When you’ve always had something, be it hope, victory, Jesus, or “fill in your blank,” I suppose it becomes difficult to contemplate what it means to be without it.
For three days, the world was without Jesus. For three days, there was complete, utter silence. For forty days, I used forced silence to attempt an understanding of what this could possibly feel like. If I had witnessed Christ serving communion at His table, witnessing his body hanging, bleeding, and suffocating would have wrought despair. If I had heard Jesus preach to thousands, hearing him breathe his last breath would have wrought defeat. If I had walked beside Jesus, walking beside his grave would have wrought hopelessness.
Forty days of embraced silence leave much time for a few contemplations of what it means to sit in the in between of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, but as the sun rose this morning, I listened intently for His voice as it broke through the silence on the third day.
To see the video of Micah Bournes “Dry Bones,” click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsXhFoUtWF4