You don’t fool me.
You look in the mirror and see the flaws, just as I do.
You have doubts, just as I do.
You crave acceptance and respect and unconditional love.
You hope and dream. You worry. You laugh. You grieve.
So do I.
And today, I want to remind you that we are more than the circumstances in which we find ourselves right now.
We are more than the faces and bodies we see in the mirror.
We are more than our doubts, our hopes, our self-judgments.
We are more than our bank accounts, and cars, and titles on our business cards.
We are not just flesh, and acquisitions, and possessions. We are spirit too.
If we ever needed a reminder that souls recognize each other, recognize our shared humanity, despite intellect and politics and prejudice, the sea of grief surrounding Japan provides it.
And because we see the face of human suffering, and loss, and recognize it as our own, we are moved to help.
We see the face of courage in the workers risking their lives to save their island, and recognize the faces of our firemen, racing up the stairs of the World Trade Centers.
We read the stories of teachers who gave their lives to save the children in their care and weep for their sacrifice while we are inspired by their selflessness. We know these teachers. We hope we are these teachers.
Our eyes are drawn to epic tragedy because we understand, our spirits understand, that we humans cannot lose so many of our kind without effect, that just as the waves of the earthquake and the tsunami travel over every inch of our earth, the vibrations of so many loosed souls are felt by every human soul.
Yet, in your town, right now, the struggles of life are playing out for more people than you realize.
And all the qualities that so inspire us when we see epic loss are present right there, behind the closed doors of homes in your neighborhood, waiting at the bus stops along your route to work, sleeping on the streets or under the bridges of your city…
Courage, to face another day.
Hope, that God will rescue and redeem.
Sacrifice, for a life loved more than one’s own.
Grief, at loss beyond bearing, beyond tears.
We all have wounded hearts.
Japan reminds us of what we need to see every day. It’s there, if we choose not to avert our eyes.
Our spirits know, even when our minds try to shut it out.
Here’s the truth…
Even when we don’t believe, even when it seems impossible given our circumstances, our loss, our despair, even when our fall from grace feels insurmountable…
All of us, each of us, is held in the arms of love, every moment of our lives.
And we are meant to feel the pain of others, to reach down, grasp the outstretched hand, and pull it up into the light of this love.
That is the tugging of your soul, the daily reminder from the tragedy in Japan.
We are meant to care.