The season of Lent rises to its devastating and astonishing conclusion this week. At long last, the veil of the dark night will be forever rent and those who abide in death will have a door to walk through into a new kind of life. Jesus will suffer first (Good Friday), and then the forces that crushed him will themselves be crushed two days later (Resurrection Sunday). In its time it was a cosmic event that, in its starkest movements, occurred beyond the veil, in a place where human eyes cannot see.
On the cusp of this final week, I feel a bit of a rising. This sense I have felt is captured perfectly in the Welsh poet, George Herbert‘s poem called “Easter Wings” (1633). (The image above shows how it was intended to be printed in its reading format; the structure of the poem itself creates the picture of its theme: wings.)
Lord, who createdst man in wealth and store,
Though foolishly he lost the same,
Decaying more and more,
Till he became
Oh let me rise
As larks, harmoniously,
And sing this day thy victories:
Then shall the fall further the flight in me.
My tender age in sorrow did beginne:
And still with sicknesses and shame
Thou didst so punish sinne,
That I became
Let me combine
And feel this day thy victorie:
For, if I imp my wing on thine
Affliction shall advance the flight in me.