The Work of Easter, after Howard Thurman

When the lilies lose their petals,
when trumpets are quiet, new shoes scuffed,
chocolate eggs melted by small fingers,
bunnies returned to the shelter,
and sermons start to doubt themselves,

the work of Easter begins —

to offer spring cleaning or garden care,
errands or a mini-respite
to a family on hospice,

to learn Narcan and carry it always,

to write thank-you to funeral directors
who drop prices beyond break-even
for low income families,

to offer deep and tender comfort
especially to those who do not expect it,
mourning a miscarriage,
an elder with dementia,
a long–time companion animal,

to name resurrection in the midst of life
for the poor, the refugee,
the vulnerable,
and the groaning creation –

Justice is risen,
Compassion is risen indeed!

and, as for music —
to make Hosannas beyond the church,
and Alleluias in the heart.

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12 Responses to The Work of Easter, after Howard Thurman

  1. Stephen Price says:

    And to keep crying, “Hosanna, save us,” thru the work of our hands and the prayers of our hearts until it comes to pass

  2. Betsy Bates says:

    Thank you, Maren. I love that Howard Thurman Christmas passage and now you’ve given us a Maren Easter message. With fond, fond memories of you and your family in Somerville.

    • Maren says:

      Thank you. God memories of you as well. Those Somerville days seem a long time ago and yet not so far. Good wishes to you in island life.

  3. darla ledger says:

    Oh, this is WONDERFUL! Thanks, Maren!

  4. This is beautiful. I have a Jim Strathdee response to Christmas based on Thurman; and now I have a Tirabassi response to Easter based on Thurman as well. But what are you going to do for Memorial Day? Peace!

    • Maren says:

      The work of Memorial Day

      Irving Berlin was an immigrant
      and he gave us “God bless America.”
      Katherine Lee Bates was a lesbian
      and she gave us “America the Beautiful.”
      And how many are there –
      new American, transgender,
      lesbian, gay, queer in many names,
      people of every faith and no faith,
      who have served this country?

      And so, leaning into a saint of mine –
      Howard Thurman – let me say:

      When parades of middle school bands are over,
      and cemetery flowers and new flags droop,
      when the grills cool off,
      and people return to work and school,
      the work of Memorial Day begins:

      to find the lost among our veterans,
      and heal minds and bodies of everyone,
      to welcome the homeless
      from among all the nations,
      and release those waiting to be deported,
      to celebrate our diversity
      from the inside out,
      to bring peace,
      so there need be no more war,

      to find music in the heart
      grateful to those who wrote it
      and willing to sing
      for everyone who needs to hear.

  5. Nathaniel C. Emens says:

    Compassion is Now The Word. Amen

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