There is a fragile place in you that shatters on a Tuesday morning, when all you are looking for is a pair of socks—instead only to find one that is not yours, an artifact of the life you had before the death or the divorce. In that moment, it feels like you are inhaling glass with every breath. Reality is the jagged corner of the table you hit your head on, and all you can feel is disorientation. This is the place where Christ lives, in the agony.
There is a space, not at the bottom, but a little lower than that, after you’ve finished the bottle, after you roll out of a foreign bed. In a way you don’t feel like you are you at all, but the mirror doesn’t lie—the damning evidence that this is unmistakably you, down here again. You have no excuses, and you have no alibi. Everything in your five senses says that you are over. But in this place that is lower than you’ve ever been, something inside says that this is not all there is. Already past hot, sticky shame, whatever is still alive inside of you feels numb and indifferent. Feeling guilty would require you to feel, and that is more than you are capable of. You are lonely, but something in you says you are not yet abandoned, as if a soft voice calls out to you from the other side of the mirror. This is the place where Christ lives, the hope that comes without your consent, when hope is no longer possible.
There is a moment between sleeping and waking when reality has no jurisdiction over you. You are not awake to the pain; the sharp cold of loss hasn’t been poured over your head like an ice bucket. You are every version of yourself, and yet not tethered to any one version in particular. This space is something like the place that you knew before you came here, the existence before heartbreak. This is the place you somehow sense you might go, after. You don’t exactly where you are or when you are, only vaguely that you are loved, and that “all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.” Held in this in-between place, you are at home in your yearning. This is the place where Christ lives. This is the field that is ripe with resurrection.
Not just in hope, not just in heartbreak, but in the place in-between, Christ happens, over and over.
I believe in the story of Jesus’ birth, and life, and death, and resurrection, to be sure. The particular language of that story is essential to me. But deeper than any language, every cell of me believes that Love keeps on finding us where we are, long after we are past being found. And that is the story I believe the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus ultimately tells, and keeps on telling, in and through us.