dirty-side up

This weekend in Anderson I found myself standing and holding my wife at the grave of her best friend, Mallory Jones. It became one of those intense moments that feel more real than others–where your senses become keenly aware of your surroundings and you can feel your heartbeat in your throat. Every distraction had fled from my mind and the wind was whipping into the depths of my ear. While wiping away a tear, Kristi prayed, “Jesus, thank You for making all things new.”

“And that Mallory does not wait,” I added.

In this moment of raw clarity, a truth I have pondered many times before slammed into my soul with sheer abandonment–harder and weightier than ever before.

My Jesus, my Savior–became human and He came to this earth, the very same ground that my feet are touching right now. He felt the same wind thats swirling in my eardrum. He cried salty tears just like the one that’s trailing down my cheek right now. Having real flesh and real bones and a real heartbeat–His body actually physically died, just like Mallory, and He was even buried in a hole in the same earth that she is.

And unlike the seeming finality of the grave I’m looking at, His tomb could not hold him in! He became the firstborn from the dead, the second Adam ushering in the new creation. The resurrected One went down to Death and opened up the door so that all of His children can follow Him back to life. Even the very grass that I’m looking at right now will literally be turned dirty-side up one day as Mallory’s new body rises to meet the One who is making all things new and the rest of her fellow captives freed, welcoming in the new heavens and the new earth.

At the end of this moment I tell the grass that I’m staring at to enjoy its time, because its days are numbered. I imagine even the strands not uprooted will still be trampled by new feet in a marvelously glorious dance.

On that day I may even grab a few clumps to hold and taunt the grave as we sing…

Christ has died and

Christ is risen,

Christ has come again.

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