We’re forced to scale it down to a manageable level.
For many, the death of Anne Frank, who we came to know through her diary, represented the unimaginable murder of 6 million Jews during the Holocaust. She made personal that which was inconceivable.
The death of the mother of a friend from Covid forced us to feel the unfathomable loss of over half a million fellow citizens.
Wars that have killed tens of millions. Famines and starvation. Pandemics and natural disasters.
Syria. Myanmar. Iraq. Afghanistan. China. Libya. Somalia. Yemen…America, with 40,000 gun deaths every year.
America, with over 550,000 deaths in one year from a virus!
The human heart wasn’t made to hold so much grief, and yet…
And yet we cannot seem to muster the will, the humanity and brotherhood that once brought us together, to address the problem, to assuage the ache of so much random loss.
It has become another barb we use to wound each other.
God help us. We fight so that we don’t have to feel.
Rage and hate are easier than love and acceptance and so we stay angry.
Ridicule and bullying and bigotry spew from us. We bathe in it on social media.
There is only one way back to our shared humanity and that is to fill our hearts with all the grief waiting right there, to allow — to force — ourselves to feel what we are doing to ourselves and to others, the lessons we’re teaching our young, the way we treat the animals we consume, befouling the air and water and future of our planet.
We have to find a way to feel the pain of others before we can find the way to fix ourselves, to fix our nation, to fix our world.
The human heart was not meant to hold so much grief. We need God’s help to feel that.
We need God’s help to see all others as He sees us, flawed and arrogant and selfish, and yet, still redeemable, still lovable.
It can only start within us, within our hearts. We can’t point and blame the other, because we, too, are “the other” to someone.
Less judgment, more love.
That requires God’s help too, and this is the perfect week to remember that.
Just over 2,000 years ago, a chapter was added to our story, the story many of us profess to believe. The unknown eldest son of a carpenter was beaten and crucified. Most who knew him, who believed in him, thought his story was finished, cut short.
Hope itself seemed to die on that cross.
But then, the incredible happened…
Easter is hope.
Easter is a glimpse of our shared humanity. Easter shows us the way to transformation and redemption.
What an Easter this one can be.
The human heart wasn’t meant to hold such grief, but even now, especially now, the wick of hope, of compassion and brotherhood, that is inside every human heart, waits to be rekindled.
May your personal Easter be blessed. May the flame inside your heart be nurtured and shared with all those you brush against in all the days ahead.