What I Mean By Resurrection

hugh hollowellWe’ve been sharing thoughts about what the new life, the Easter miracle, we remember during this season between Easter Sunday and Ascension Day means on our blog.

Earlier I shared what a blog reader wrote about this subject.  A friend of our blog, Rev. Hugh Hollowell of Love Wins, a ministry working with folks often overlooked including those experiencing homelessness in Raleigh, wrote the following piece, which I think is a helpful look at what resurrection is about:

“What I know about any of it – God, Love, Forgiveness – I learned from black men who had been beaten senseless by Baptist deacons, from lesbian teenagers forced into sex work when their Fundamentalist parents kicked them out of the house, from homeless women who live in their van in front of a church that ignores them, from sex offenders and murders who memorized vast portions of the King James Bible while sitting in their jail cells.

homeless in jesus arms

“A man who sleeps outside and prays every night for survival taught me what it means to pray as if it was real. A woman who lives in a tent because she spends her rent money every month on a methadone treatment center so she can stay off heroin and one day get her kids back taught me about the reality of Hope.

“The trite, shallow theology of Negro Spirituals take new shape when you hear them sung by oppressed peoples who dream of a day when they too can fly away from it all.

“I believe in Resurrection not because of what the original Greek text says, but because I have been witness to the reality of it day in and day out for a decade.

“I believe in Redemption not because I believe God made a cosmic bargain with Satan that involved killing Jesus, but because I have seen unmerited suffering be redemptive and transformative and even salvific, and I have seen those who inflict that suffering repent of their ways and seek to change (although, not as often as I wish).

“I believe in Hell because I have visited it, and so many of the people I love live in it.

“Am I a believer? Oh hell yeah. I believe – God help my unbelief.”

 

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