It is an intriguing concept — the idea that a zombie might be able to sprout wings and fly. Perhaps it is an unrealistic hope or a pipe dream. As I contemplate the last few months, however, this time that has now passed since my father died, I am beginning to wonder.
You see, dear ones, it feels as though I have been in a place of cocooning. At the time, that is to say – in these past six months – I have often felt more like I had lost my way and was stuck, frozen even, in a dark space of anger, grief and despair. Some degree of perspective has come now, and I anticipate more is on the way.
I am beginning to read again, to laugh a little more heartily, and to breathe a little deeper. Getting through the first major holidays without my father being physically present, and walking the steep hill towards the interment of his ashes were important steps towards this shifting. My eyes and mind both feel like they are gaining focus. My physical body even feels like it is prepared for more mobility, stretching and moving forward.
I suspect that experiencing the darkness of grief and withdrawing from serving in public and private ministry for a time was necessary for my personal and professional growth. It has been cocooning time. Although I may not be fully prepared to exit the present darkness, the walls of the cocoon are becoming more transparent. Perhaps this means my zombie self is shedding an old way of interacting with the world.
“The Old Self” – Photo by Trista Wynne
I am reminded of Paul’s words in his first letter to the Corinthians: “When I was a child, I thought like a child, I spoke like a child, I reasoned like a child. Now that I am an adult, I put childish ways behind me. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I am fully known.” (1 Cor. 13:11-12)
I cannot know yet how this experience has shaped me, or how it will continue to do so. I only know that something rather significant has changed. In time, I trust that more will be revealed.
Again I wonder: can a zombie fly?
Once more my heart is brought to the Scriptures, this time to an interaction between the Eternal One and the prophet of old named Elijah:
The hand of the Eternal One came upon me, bringing me out by the wind of the Spirit and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. I was led all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. The Eternal One said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Eternal One, only you know.” (Ezek. 37:1-3)
Can a zombie fly? Only you, O Beloved, only you know…