Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live,
          and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.

                           —John 11.25-26

Death, we are certain,
is final, a wall.
But Jesus says death
is not final at all:
not a wall but a curtain,
a hallway, a door,
a passage to something
uncertain but More.
Death is a darkness
and death is a dawn,
a deep letting go,
and a bright moving on.
The door is unlocked;
if you push it will give.
First you die, Jesus says,
first you die, then you live.
Help me, God, by your grace,
every moment, each breath
in and out, to receive
the new birth we call death,
like Lazarus, swaddled,
and just coming to,
awake from the birth canal,
risen and new.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

Love is like this

         Though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus,
               after having heard that Lazarus was ill,
              he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. ...
         Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here,
              my brother would not have died. ...
         Some said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man
                have kept this man from dying?” ...
         Jesus wept.

                           —John 11.5, 21, 37, 35

Jesus hears the news, silent,
and stands by the window.
He feels the urge rise in him,
the wave of entitlement.
He remembers the desert,
the lure of magical powers,
the world in his hands,
the longing to be able to fall without hurt.
He feels the hunger to be exempt
from sorrow, from powerlessness, from death.
Which is to be exempt from life.
He would not choose that,
for himself or his beloved.

Only in the deepest love does he release his friend
from his own desires,
into the fragile craft that is life.
Love is like this, and worse:
the surrender, the pain, the hands pierced and empty.
He sits, for two days.
He enters the tomb
of his own broken heart.

And on the third day he rises.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light