Friday, March 29, 2013

Hope Springs Eternal

It is no wonder that Easter is the highest of high holidays for Christianity.  It’s a remarkable story.  And beyond the miraculous it is a very human story of hope and healing.  Christians celebrate that God has come to be in solidarity with humanity & so the story of Jesus’ birth, life, death, & resurrection is one that inspires many to strive to reflect in some small, imperfect way the image of God in whom we have all been created. 

In particular, Jesus’ journey from Palm Sunday to Easter includes so many familiar aspects of the human experience – the praise & acclaim from riding high on Palm Sunday to the lowest of lows soon thereafter – rejection, denial, abandonment.  There is betrayal & forgiveness, uncertainty & reassurance, suffering & simple acts of kindness.  There is grief & joy.

So, it is with our journeys as well.  Every day, right now, not just in hospital rooms but also in our homes, our communities, & throughout our world there is uncertainty & anxiety. Those who were riding high that now find themselves in a valley of fear from a shocking diagnosis, a sudden surprising turn of events; there are broken bodies, broken lives all around us.  Yes, we must admit that we, too, are broken.  

And yet there is hope all around us, too – hope for healing.  Yes, miraculous hope for cancer to disappear, for heart disease to be cured.  But also, if we have the eyes to see it, we learn that even when cure is not possible, healing is always within grasp.  And that healing takes many forms – healing of fractured family relationships, healing of spiritual distress & despair.  And this healing arrives in so many ways.  A prayer, the tender care of a nurse, a walk in the woods, a listening ear of a social worker, by saying “thank you”, “I’m sorry,” & “I forgive you”, in the smile of a stranger, a gentle touch, the simple presence of our loved ones around us. 

And so during this miraculous time of Easter let us rekindle our hope for healing in all its forms, our vision of life abundant for all, the promise of new beginnings, and the reassurance that hope springs eternal.  May it be so. 

Note: I wrote this reflection in April 2012 as part of an Easter sunrise service that I led at a local hospital where I served as chaplain.

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