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A Year of Easter

March 3, 2021

14 of 40

“Some Days retired from the rest

In soft distinction lie

The Day that a Companion came

Or was obliged to die”

Emily Dickinson

Two folk I know well (and their spouses) will have another child this year – within a month or two, conceived in this Year of Lent. Unmitigated joy: creation fully manifest. Nothing is better, perhaps even as good.

But better, I think, is to have another child in a sea of human distortion to avoid even a tiny possibility of death. A countercurrent verging in a rip tide of faith

Death was once cheap, especially for children. The frail died often, very young and (not so) very old, the survivors a grim testament to genetic superiority – and God’s Grace. Now we have vaccines, sonograms, in-utero surgery, artificial heart valves. And birth. And death.

The fixation on any and every death as tragic is natural because we do not, not, ever, want to die. But we do. But we were also, all of us, born. The joy of birth, of the expectation of birth, denies death front stage, but also the final act of our humanity. But this year is different.

500,000 died from scores of millions infected in this country, and counting. A tiny share, but so lamented as to decry any possible human source of infection as inveighing death on others. I am guessing that the coming wave of births, by those young enough to know their lives as a source of life, will be a counterintuitive confirmation of the love we have, that death does not discourage.


Great effort has been made to determine whether those who are deeply ill, then get the Plague, then die, if they die of it, or of being greatly ill. Why? Oh, yes, yes, Science must know how and why any die to prevent the death of others.

But wait, death is never prevented, it is deferred. Just as, to me, birth can never be eliminated, despite all the reasons (and they are many) especially in this year, not to have a baby.

It is the years in between that confirm bearing the necessity of birth and death. “Some Days retired from the rest” because the rest are the fruits of living.

Logic has no place in faith. “Follow The Science” means to follow our own minds – not the overwhelming Grace of a world where miracles are birthed amid a sea of death. The people who will have these babies will have pregnancies in, mostly, sequestration, as we “Follow The Science” in all things but birth and death.

If Science was paramount, there would be no pain in birth, no possibility of death, we would be immortal, unless we did not want to be, and disease would just be an emotional state, we could prevent that, too.

But Science is not paramount. The humans that made Science did not make each other, they just gave birth, or lost life, because we did not create it. We were given it.

I think we will have a Year of Easter after our Year of Lent, because life follows death in every thing we see and are given. Of course bad things happen, we control not much, but life is not ended beyond our individual passing.

God is in those “Days retired from the rest”. Religion may be fully suspect, even fully ignored in the following of science, because we made that too. But we did not make God, but we see that God when life emerges, or leaves, because God is there.

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