Napa Valley Taize

So here we are in the Easter Season, and we're astounded to see the Jesus we walked with throughout Lent turned out to be infinitely more than we, his friends or his enemies had imagined.  And after experiencing his own resurrection, he has the audacity to invite us into the same joy of his resurrection.  Not just the Easter Sunday Alleluia Christ is risen kind of joy, but lasting human and physical JOY.  Coupled with this he asks us to work to stay in the joy so that we may be even more joyful.   In other words:  Practice resurrection.

So we all must have a favorite resurrection story.  The short form of mine this season is this:  A widow and an artist friend of mine who already had over $450,000 into her house, (her husband bought the house before he died) and had been paying $3000 a month for ten years, stopped paying her mortgage last fall because she finally realized she didn't have enough to live on with her twelve year old son.  So these last months, she's been 'negotiating' with the bank to make some agreements with them in regards to lowering her mortgage, etc.  Here the story gets murky.  Among other things, she asked if the bank would notify her, should her house go to auction.

So last Monday a guy comes to her gates and tells her he's the new owner, and has bought the house for $180,000.  He proceeds to exclaim and congratulate himself over the fact that he got a 'steal'...and will put the house back on the market for $500,000.  He indelicately informs her that she is now a squatter, and will be prohibited from taking her personal items from both the garden and the house, which include particular artistic and emotional expressions she built into the house alongside her husband.  So, she's telling me, that as she is guiding him through the house, and he is exclaiming throughout , and reiterating what a deal he got, she's praying 'O God forgive him, O God forgive him, he doesn't know what he's doing, '  all the while suggesting to him he be a little more circumspect, that he's in her Holy space.  So as she's walking him to his car, she asks what he does for a living.   Lawyer?  Real estate?  No, he says.   Loan officer.   Were there other bidders, she asks.  Oh no he repeats.  I didn't buy it on auction.

Now to my way of thinking, the above is definitely not a happy, nor joyful, or even a pretend resurrection story.  'The unjust war has actually come to my doorstep,' was my reaction as she told me, and I began to ferret out those professionals who might take her case of mortgage fraud.  Now we'll see who's going to be 'practicing resurrection,' I thought with vengeance in my heart.  So, I emailed her the data I collected, and asked her permission to begin the work of retribution.

She replied.  'I have given my situation a lot of prayer and thought, and have come to an agreement with myself...the deal is done.  My lawyer says the house is sold, there's nothing I can do anymore.  So I made beautiful art this week.   I want to move on, let mortage fraud be, as long as I can keep singing.'

Practicing resurrection.