Life Among the Gravestones

Lent ChurchyardI’m sitting in the churchyard at Trinity, which is really a graveyard, enjoying the sun for a while before I go back to work. There’s a bird here, making clicking and swooping chirpy noises as it searches the dirt between the tombstones for food, puffing itself up a little, maybe in search of a mate.

I got married about a week and a half ago, and so I haven’t been thinking much about Lent or repentance or death. Instead I’ve been thinking about my new life (and, well, planning a wedding, which, it turns out, is a lot to think about): new life with Denise, who is now my wife, and how our lives will continue and grow together.

On our wedding day our friends and family came together from all over New York and the country and as far as Brazil and Australia and Japan to celebrate with us It was fun to see people from so many stages of my life becoming a community for a little while, to help us start something new.

The readings for this week—the valley of the dry bones, Lazarus—aren’t so much about death and repentance as life. Lent, too, is about all the ways life comes out of the dirt and dust. Of course, death and sin and pain are realities in this life, things we live with and between, but we also celebrate that from each of our separate hearts and minds comes a community, from the grave, hope, from bone and sinew and skin comes humanity and love.

I am grateful, here, in the sun on a Spring day, for all of these things, for my new life, for my wife and all those who love and have loved and will love us, for all the ways we find each other between the gravestones.

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