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Mike hopes to see the world turned upside down through local communities banding together for social change, especially churches which have recognized the radical calling to be good news to the poor, to set free the prisoners and oppressed, and to become the social embodiment of the reign of God on earth as it is in heaven. He lives with the blessed memory of his wife, in Durham, NC, and has three adult children living in three different states. He also shares his life with the Mt. Level Missionary Baptist Church in Durham, the faculty and students of Shaw University Divinity School in Raleigh, NC, and the faithful fans of Duke and Baylor Basketball in his neighborhood.

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Saturday, April 04, 2015

Bluebonnets for Easter

I've posted some pictures on Facebook from Good Friday and Holy Saturday, and I've made a series of comments about them which I am collecting here.  In the past, I have written about wildflowers and bluebonnets and their significance for Everly, our years together, and for our family (here and here, for instance).  We have been blessed with an abundance flowers at Everly's grave this year, and I wanted to share these pictures and reflections with those of you who have followed our story.

In winter 2013, we planted bluebonnets and paintbrush wildflowers on Everly Estes Broadway's gravesite in Salado. With pretty good rainfall, the plants emerged in the spring, but there were only a few scattered, small blooms. So we hoped for another year of root growth to bring us a better bouquet this year. Today Lydia made her way to Salado at the end of Holy Week, and we got a big surprise.
As the day waned on Good Friday, she found and sent us pictures of abundant bluebonnets all over the Broadway grave plot, and only on that part of the cemetery. A little foreshadowing of Easter on Good Friday for us who love Everly. 
Bluebonnets all over, with a few scattered paintbrush and behind the bench, several red Drummond's phlox visible in the corner of one photo. Everly will be loving these flowers. I always loved to bring her flowers.




 STEM moment: Everly will be loving to see a few atoms (possibly) of her carbon remains revitalized in this palate of color. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Dust to soil, soil to bluebonnets.


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W.D. (my dad) and Lydia have gone back to sit with Everly and place an Easter lily by her gravestone today on Holy Saturday. Last year on Easter the four of us took lilies to Everly's grave before sunrise. Later in the day we took pictures with bluebonnets as we had on our last Easter with Everly. This year we are scattered around in three states. Thank you sweet Lydia for these pictures.



Beyond my comprehension, in the complex relation of time and eternity, the mystery of Holy Saturday is a day of communion of our Lord with the dead. WD and Lydia stay there by this grave at the borderlands of this mystery, and we remember that this tomb and the Lord's tomb and so many more tombs cannot hold prisoner those who have been laid to rest.  

But on this day, Christ and those united to him (the church against whom even the gates of Hades may not prevail) participate in the liberation of "All of these [who] died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, God has prepared a city for them."

"There is a communion of the saints," as Rev Turner declared in Everly's eulogy, and like so many flowers clustered around WD's and Lydia's feet, there is a great cloud of witnesses, sitting vigil on this day, with all creation groaning in labor pains, awaiting redemption of our bodies. We hope for what we do not see and wait with patience. The Spirit helps us in our weakness and intercedes with sighs too deep for words. The Spirit intercedes for the saints according to God's good will and purpose for us. In this blessed, sweet communion, we await the mystery of resurrection, in hope.
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