It is hard to be human. The reality of this continues to return to me over and over again these last few weeks as I feel that I and those around me have been called to enter into the tragic human realities of death, loss, and grieving. As I write these words it occurs to me that during this Holy week before Easter the disciples and followers of Christ were probably in a very similar place. I say that it is hard to be human not just because we have to face such issues, but we are invited to feel them deeply alongside feelings seemingly at odds with death, hope for resurrection
I think of Jim* on the street, whom we’ve known for years. When we saw him on Broadway he was his usual self, ready with stories in hand to convince us that he was much tougher, smarter, more respected, better than maybe he even knew or believed himself to be. I found myself not wanting to participate in his stories, laugh at his jokes, and be impressed with his desirability on the streets, though I have many times in the past. Instead I felt sad by his need to cover his own brokenness with amusing tales. But I understand his need to cover. We all do it, make up our own reality to keep from facing and feeling what is really true. It’s a great safeguard against having to feel our deep longing for Easter while we’re still in Lent.
But that is what we are invited to do, and what we hope to invite Jim and others in our community to do, to be people who LIVE by feeling and experiencing the reality of both death and resurrection fully.
*Name has been changed