A THOUGHT FOR THE PASSOVER / EASTER SEASONS
Almost every religious Tradition testifies to visitations and visions of those who have died. In fact, even people who have no religious attachments have testified to the presence of those who have “passed away.” There may be psychological explanations for these experiences. Nonetheless. the impact of these visions and feelings significantly alter how one understands life and death. Many people may even be afraid to speak about their experiences for fear of what others might think. Every day someone remembers something a deceased person said or did and, in that remembrance, may even feel the presence of the one remembered. Our understanding and appreciation of life and death is dynamic. Poets, artists, musicians have longed sensed there is more to life than we might think. If only we could transcend our fears and explore the deep recesses of the human experience, we might see beyond the limits of our everyday obligations and responsibilities.
Today many of us are living in fear. Fear of becoming sick, fear of dying, fear of losing a friend or a family member to a strange virus that has gripped the World with terror. We are mesmerized and grateful for all the women and men who conquer their fears and attend to the needs of others. We are quite aware of the nurses, doctors and healthcare professionals who risk their lives each and every day. We are becoming more and more aware of the truck drivers, the transit workers, and grocery clerks, to mention a few, who rank among those we cannot live without. We now live in a World were a pizza delivery person puts their health, if not their life, on the line for the sake of others. No amount of monetary compensation could express our gratitude. It is people such as these who have risen above their fears to be of service to others. More than anything else, they give us the gift of courage revealing to us what it truly means to be human and humane.
We could say, in the spirit of the Passover / Easter Seasons, these are the people who have risen to the occasion exemplifying for us what it means to be a people set free from fear. Yes, it is true, we can feel fear and transcend it at the same time. Freedom from fear empowers us to serve others with generosity of heart.
Our World will never be the same when the pandemic passes. Never again will we order a pizza, pick up groceries, ride in a train, get a haircut, or eat in a diner, without gratitude for all those who conquered their fears with dedication and service to others. We hope and pray that we will have been so inspired by those who gave of themselves that we might give of ourselves without fear or hesitation.
The Interfaith Peace Project