In Christian tradition, Easter is a season that lasts until Pentecost (June 5). This year I’m especially glad we have fifty days to celebrate resurrection and new life.
One way we can do this is by practicing a more embodied faith. With its emphasis on incarnation, Christianity is, at core, a religion that embraces physical being. Yet, far too often, our tradition has spiritualized human existence and denied or rejected human bodies in this world.
As our congregation continues its Racial Justice Work (intersecting with justice for women, youth, LGBTQ+, differently abled, low income, and non-human beings), I think it’s important we gain a greater awareness of how different bodies are perceived and received in this world—and how this perception and reception positively and/or negatively affect us.
In his book, My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies, author Resmaa Menakem explores this. He affirms that, whether we’re black, white, or brown, racism affects our sense of self and our experience of living as a human body. With a grounding in trauma theory, he walks us through the history of being a person of any color in this country. And, through readable prose and practical exercises, he helps us become more comfortable in our own bodies with the goal of making all bodies safer to live and move and have their being in the world.
I encourage you to read this book and join Sarah Ramsland and Dit Talley for a three-part discussion series, starting May 11. If you need a nudge, check out this personal account of Dit’s early experience with racism in rural Louisiana, his current engagement with racial justice work, and the transformative impact this book has had on his life. Because the group will purposefully engage racialized trauma in our bodies, please consider your own experience of trauma and healing before choosing to participate. Due to the nature of this work, we’re limiting the number of participants to a single Zoom screen. RSVP by emailing email@example.com.
Finally, I hope you’ll join me and the rest of the Racial Justice Audit Team this Sunday, May 1 for the second of two conversations about the results and next steps of our congregation’s audit process. We’ll hold a hybrid meeting (in person and online) immediately after worship.
I close with a poem by Rev. Laura Martin:
See, spring comes close
And tells you again that
Resurrection is no party trick,
But the truest Story.
Today let there be mud-light
And green shoots.
Let there be the birds with wings
Half-opened in praise.
Let there be daffodils that
Have come to tell you
They remember it all,
Loss leading to return.
Everything is ancient and new.
When you see
What can you do but
Reach your body up,
Remember that you are rooted
In this Story,
And reply alleluia,