One of the key Christian beliefs is that from death comes life. The paradox is at times difficult to appreciate, until you approach it head on.
Recently, my mother returned to a hospital for the first time in over 45 years. What brought her to this specific hospital was what is considered a routine knee-replacement surgery.
While no surgery is risk-free, it was this specific hospital that in many ways raised more concerns than the surgery itself.
You see, 45 years ago, her father, my grandfather, passed away in this hospital. She was 15-years old. This hospital was her Calgary, her Golgatha.
As Mary saw her son take his last breath, it was here where her father took his last while she rested in his arms.
This passed-on memory stays with me these days as my mom recovers slowly. I see her pain from the surgery, but I also see her strength.
This surgery gives her an opportunity to regain her mobility. In a few months, she will dance again. She will walk in a supermarket with little pain. She will be able to play with her grandchildren. She will gain back her freedom.
The truth of the matter, and one of the great lessons in this experience not just for her but for all of us, is that by returning to the scene of great loss, she (and we) has already regained her freedom.
In a place that previously carried great hurt and loss, she overcame it by her courage and strength. While this hospital will always bring memories of great loss and pain, it now also carried hope and life.
This paradox in hospitals are not new. So many lives are lost and born within these sterile walls. Life goes on, but at times we don’t. We remain stuck. While parts of us may die too in these Calgary moments, there is also the invitation to new life.
It is the Easter message for the Christian. Calgary is not the end.
So too for us, we are called to find new life. We are at times called to return to a place of great hurt, be it a hospital, scene of abuse or crime, or even a previous home. When you walk through those doors once more, there is hope in that when you leave, you are no longer the same.
You now have regained your freedom. In what was once a scene of death, you find life.