Happy Easter in a hazelnut

God's wounded hand
reached out to place in hers
the entire world, 'round as a ball,
small as a hazelnut'. Just so one day
of infant light remembered
her mother might have given
into her cupped palms
a new laid egg, warm from the hen;
just so her brother
risked to her solem joy
his delicate treasure,
a sparrow's egg from the hedgerow.
What can this be? the eye of her understanding marvelled.

God for a moment of our history
placed in that five-fingered
human nest
the macrocosmic egg, sublime paradox
brown hazelnut of All that Is-
made, and beloved, and preserved.
As still, waking each day within
our microcosm, we find it, and ourselves.

From The Showings: Lady Julian of Norwich, 1342-1416 No. 4 from "Breathing the Water" by Denise Levertov

In the icon above, it is the crucified Christ that shows the hazelnut to Julian witnessing to her the three properties she understood from it: The first that God made all, that God loves it and that God preserves it ever as gift.

Of which the resurrected Christ is ever the seal on that understanding. Death is no more, violence can never be the final word, you, all of you, every particular thing in its uniqueness is loved because God is at the heart of all things and love is the meaning. You can forget this, misplace it, rail against it and it makes no ultimate difference, delaying only the moment when 'waking each day within our microcosm, we find it, and ourselves' and in our neighbour.

Who is our neighbour? Everyone, everything that is gifted with its loved meaning within the hazelnut. Unless you are a citizen of everyone, everywhere, how can you be a loving citizen of any particular place? Their identity, our identity rests in the gift, and the gift is one.

Happy Easter!


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