A Good Friday Message
Last night I had a dream. Now, admittedly, dreams can be whacky doodle at times but this one (as many of my dreams are) was different. I was trying to glue a pair of glasses together. Once I got one thing in place, something else broke. No matter how I tried, I could not stabilize or put the glasses back together again.
I feel my dream confirmed something I have felt from the beginning of this virus. I don’t believe any of us will ever be able to “see” things the same again once we are on the other side of COVID 19. There is not enough glue to put humpty-dumpty or his glasses back together again, let alone patch old (and outdated) perspectives together into any cohesive mental picture that works for us.
As much as we want to make sense of this new normal we are living with (and hopefully people will make the right decision to continue to shelter and distance for a good long while) our minds will never be able to “see” or answer questions we all must have around this pandemic. The Good Friday and Easter message for many offers hope, but hope is wholly dependent upon practicality and trust.
We all have questions running rampant through our minds. I imagine most of us feel some level of anger, or frustration, or disappointment, or bitterness or downright fear for our circumstances. But as I watch news clips of our governors, first responders, our health experts and professionals, our grocery clerks and delivery persons (from our mail person, to our UPS driver, to our food delivery persons) I do see that I am safely (and with purpose and intention) doing my part by staying sheltered so I don’t risk (or contribute) to COVID 19 spreading.
I am planning to make this Good Friday about dying to old concepts that no longer support life in any way. Somewhere in the recasting of what was once our imagined safety nets, I feel this is my opportunity to embrace the reality that my very precious life is, was, and always has been fragil if not a little uncertain; but I also realize how bravely I (and everyone I know) have lived in spite of this. Most of us do.
I realize with a deep acuity so keen and sharp that it sometimes hurts … that I do not function (nor have I ever) on this planet or in my life without thousands of others who make my life work, regardless of where someone lives, what they look like, how they love, or who or how they worship.
My prayer for all of us is that we will once again have the luxury of a family gathering, or a friendship luncheon, or the gentle touch of another’s hand on our shoulder or a kiss on the cheek. Or even on a very simplistic level, be able to run to the grocer for a half-gallon of milk without santizing, wiping, and washing over and over again.
Sheltered and separated from the people I care the most about, I feel a deep calling as an adult to be an example to our children, to our grandchildren. I feel a deep responsibility to offer a sense, (even as the unknown cannot be known) that we will get through this. Perhaps when we do, we will have a different way of seeing the world. Perhaps we will all meet a better version of ourselves.
Good Friday is a day for Christians to honor Christ’s crucification. People who follow this faith trust in the Scriptures they read and accept, most without question, that Christ died so he could rise from the dead three days later to a renewed eternal life. By example, I feel we can do that in these deeply troubling and sad times. We can rise above all that makes us less kind, less loving, and less an example of Christ’s teachings.
So my Good Friday prayer is for the safety of our citizens that live across this country. My hope is that people stay home and embrace the idea that our freedom means doing the right thing. My deeper hope is for everyone to realize that practicing freedom is a deeply responsible voluntary act … as opposed to where, in China, people were drug from their homes and separated from their families involuntarily. Here we are simply being asked by medical experts and some of our leaders to stay put. Right now, this is what our freedom looks like.
I am hopeful people of the Christian faith can honor this Christian holiday and take the opportunity to die to the false idea that we are somehow different or better than the next person, the person we hated or judged simply because they honored life apart from our own personal convictions. Doing so, we might awaken to Easter morning with a greater strength and awareness, a respect for life and for others, a renewed way of seeing … seeing our way peacefully to do the right thing for all of us, not just now but going forward.