nighttime rose: resurrection musings

A pink rose on a rosebush at night. Text says: “nighttime rose: resurrection musings”
I wrote this in honor of my daughter’s birthday about a month ago:

nighttime rose:
resurrection musings

My daughter—
my first child—
my once-presumed-lifeless
but miraculously
resurrected-while-still-within-me child—
the one who turned the tomb of my womb
into a cradle that rocked her gently
and protected her from every harsh thing
while she formed into
the baby I met months later—

I have witnessed her life,
her growing and becoming,
like a miraculous unfolding,
for 11 glorious years now.
Every night, she asks
if we can step out onto the front porch
to pray before bed.
The days are long now that it’s late summer
and we stand out in the blazing Texas heat.

Our bare feet meet
the warm, cracked concrete
and we gaze out to observe tonight’s sunset—
the Texas sky is such a show-off—
before I wrap my arms around her
as she bows her head against my chest.
(She’s almost as tall as I am now!)

Sometimes we join our voices together
in the familiarity of the Lord’s Prayer.
Sometimes it’s difficult to choose
which words to pray.
When the world is full of fires,
which ones do you ask God to extinguish?
If we named them all,
we’d see the dawn before we finished.

Tonight, as I reach for words,
the ones that spring to my lips are a request
and an acknowledgement
of my daughter’s unique gift:
“Dear God, help us to see the beauty
in the world and in other people.”
Before I can get all the words out,
something arrests my attention
in the flowerbed next to the porch steps.
My gaze lingers on a single tiny pink rose
blooming on my recently-presumed-dead
but apparently resurrected rosebush.

“Do not forget,”
a Holy whisper seems to say,
“I am a God of resurrection.”

It’s more a knowing, a feeling,
than a sentence formed with words.
This world seems steeped in death,
but when I asked Creator
to help me see beauty,
Mother God pointed me
to the beauty of resurrection.
How could I forget,
even as I hold the evidence in my arms,
her every heartbeat speaking defiant life
in the face of death?
Beauty is resurrection: life after death.
In a word,

~Lindsay L. O’Connor

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