Corporeal resurrection begs a lot of problematic questions – I suppose, by definition, that’s what a miracle is. On the other hand, the idea that we can be born again seems a natural truth on its very face, requiring no special grace whatsoever, aside from courage, patience and submission – lots of submission. As Americans, we don’t like that part. We avoid admitting there are forces acting on our lives completely beyond our control. But inevitably the unsolvable happens. We face what seems like deterioration, and find green shoots peeking out from the ruins. We move hopefully toward change and shelter, only to find the same storm in a less friendly climate. At some point, we all linger in our disappointment like an answered prayer.
The ever-so-casual Buddhist in me has no problem with rebirth on even a moment-by-moment scale, and there’s no denying you bring all your riddles with you. Our expectation that rebirth will clear the slate – that we will no longer are the person we are afraid we were – is a little bit of wishful thinking. But that is not the grace we are offered.
Instead, rebirth says, “You are that person and more. Nothing better has been lost or forfeited by your mistakes.” And we are all entitled to renewal on those terms – you can’t sacrifice your way to it. Rebirth’s not interested in your sacrifices. She wants to know what you are going to do about love, right now. Today.