Look Up and See the Sun

“… walk and live in the reflection of God’s glory.” These words are at the heart of the legacy my mother left for her family. They come to the fore for me at Easter time. I’m reminded that the celebration of Jesus’ passion, dying and rising continues in and through us. Easter lives through movements to a fuller life of peace, anchoring in God and God’s reality and perspective, energy, gratitude and joy. Movements such as these can rise gradually out of pain, letting go, loss, and suffering. Some are dramatic and sudden. Resurrection moments can occur in any situation.

Dad died suddenly of a heart attack on October 7, 1970. Mom was devastated. She didn’t eat. She resisted conversations and activities. Many nights became sleepless. She went into a depression that held her in bondage.

About two months after Dad died, Mom looked out her kitchen window one morning. The sun was about to rise over the horizon. Soon it became brilliant and warm. She began to see with new eyes and a refreshed heart. Her depression started to wane.

Mom responded to the moment by writing a poem that expressed her resurrection.

Look Up and See the Sun

Look up and see the sun.
You cannot see the full brightness of its rays;
Your eyes are blinded by its brilliance.
Look out and see the beauty of growing things
          that the radiance of the sun helped to make grow.

Look down and see the little things
          that grow small in stature,
          but still need those same rays
          to make them grow.

Look inward into yourself.
          Open the doors and windows of your being,
          your heart, your soul, your mind.

Let the rays of this beautiful sun 
          enter in there, too,
          to fill those dark corners with sunshine and
          erase the gloom and shadow.   

Remember then that God made that sun to shine
          for people and growing things,
          for light in dark places and warmth
          where it is cold.

God also made the sun to shine on quiet things.
          The dewdrops sparkle;
          the snow in its beauty glistens;
          a sunset reflected on a quiet lake
          is an awesome, beautiful sight.

Remember then your God!
          God gives the sun a command of such powers!

Think of the strength God will give you.
          to rise above the clouds of despair;
          to walk and live in the reflection of God’s glory. 

By Margaret Reuter

Mother’s poem tells of her coming out her tomb. I suspect the next stanza would reflect something of the perspective of Joan Chittister, OSB: “To celebrate Easter means to stand in the light of the empty tomb and decide what to do next. Until we come to realize that, we stand to misread the meaning not simply of the Easter gospel but of our own lives.”*

Easter faces us with these questions: “What will you do next after your Lenten journey, your coming out of your tomb and walking into the light of your Easter resurrection? How will you proclaim, ‘Alleluia?’”

Mary Reuter, OSB

*Sister Joan Chittister as quoted by Brian Bruess, president of the College of Saint Benedict + Saint John’s University

Photo: A magnificent sunrise. Photo taken by Terry Willey.