By the Venerable Calhoun Walpole,
Archdeacon of the Diocese of South Carolina
“The end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started, and know the place for the first time.” — T.S. Eliot
For me, lately, the arrival at the place where I started has meant reconnecting with the soil of the earth. Many others have been doing the same thing during this spring of pandemic. In earlier years it would have been unthinkable for me not to have had a garden of sorts—or at least numerous plants and flowers around, including herbs and vegetables. Somewhere along the way, though, I ceased to garden—an activity which had been as much a part of me as the air I breathed.
You only are immortal… and we are mortal, formed of the earth, and to earth shall we return. For so did you ordain when you created me saying, “You are dust, and to dust you shall return.” All of us go down to the dust; yet even at the grave we make our song Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.
In my early days of ministry, a minister from the sea islands, aware of my farming roots, exclaimed to me, “Child, you come from the dust; and you’re just going back to the dust that formed you.” She of course meant that the soil to which I now would be tending and the fields in which I would be laboring would be the Lord’s; and that the harvest would be the Lord’s. The harvest is always the Lord’s.
After Jesus’s resurrection, he moves through the locked doors in order to be present with his disciples; and in his resurrected body, he shows them his wounds. As our Lord heals us through his wounds, we need not be afraid of any wounds in our own life. We allow the Lord to move through our wounds as he moves though any locked doors of our own minds or hearts in order to bring new life—resurrected life.
What are the locked doors in your own life that Jesus is desiring to move through—returning you to the dust that formed you, allowing you to know the place for the first time? What is bringing you new life this Eastertide?
To see this theme from the Archdeacon further developed, please watch and listen to her homily from this past Sunday at this link.
During the uncertain times created by the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, leadership of the diocese will send out regular meditations on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays for the next while as we all adjust to a new chapter of living and being the Church.