Happy Easter and Passover to you!
I know many of you are not feeling very happy at this moment. I know this is not the way you wanted to celebrate the holidays and for that I’m really sorry. I know millions of our fellow human beings are feeling anything but celebratory today.
Many of you have been separated from loved ones. Millions of you have lost jobs. (The numbers are so staggering I can’t even wrap my mind around them.) Many of you have also lost loved ones. You’ve been forced to say goodbye on the phone or attend funerals, like I did yesterday, on Zoom. (I gotta say, I never thought I’d experience that. But it was very moving, very special, and weirdly comforting.) I know so many of you are anxious, mad, scared, and ready for this all to be over. I know.
So many of my conversations I had this week were about that. “When do you think this will be over?” I was asked. “Who do you think we’ll be when this is all over?” My answer to both was either, “I don’t know” or, as the quote on my clock above says, “in God’s time.”
This will be over in God’s time. Not in our time. Not in the President’s time. Not even in Dr. Fauci’s time. I know that’s probably not what you want to hear, but it’s the truth. Today is all we have. As Pope Francis said this week, we must take care of the now for the sake of tomorrow. So right now, today, I hope you can take care of your heart and your mind. By doing so, you will be able to take care of others who depend on you. And I know there are a lot of people who depend on you.
In the Catholic Church, today is about the resurrection. It’s about rising. So, regardless of your faith, my hope for you today is that you rise. Rise from your bed. Rise from your fears. My hope is also that your spirit can rise. I hope wherever you are, you look up (yes, look up) and then look around. I hope you take a deep breath. Yes, I do. So many of us have forgotten to breathe, so please right now, before you take another sip of that coffee or that tea, breathe. I hope today you tell yourself to do this. I hope today you are able to feel whatever it is you are meant to feel. After all, to feel is a gift.
I hope today you put on some music. When I put on music, it often brings me to tears. I’ve come to be grateful for those tears, just as much as I am grateful for the joy that other songs bring me. Why? Because I know both emotions exist within me. I know that if I want to feel joy—if I want to feel what it’s like to rise—I must also feel the sadness, the fear, and the longing that comes with being human. I am grateful I can feel.
My hope today is that you recognize the humanity that exists in you, as well as the humanity that exists in everyone else. We are all going through this moment together, just as we are all going through it alone. My hope, however, is that we all come out of it more together than alone. My hope is that we will come out of this stronger, wiser, and altered in the best way possible.
The picture above is of a table in my bedroom. On it sits images of my four children, placed next to the calm, centered, loving Buddha. The clock in front was a gift. It reminds me every day that my time is precious. That I am not in control and that tomorrow is not guaranteed. Being grateful for the now is the best use of my time, be it on Easter Sunday or any day of the week.
So, my friends, please take care of your now, for the sake of your tomorrow. Believe that you will rise in God’s time. This is Easter Sunday, after all. Try to visualize yourself rising above your troubles, your anxieties, and your fears. Try to visualize yourself rising above all that drains you and pulls at your heart. This may not be the Easter you wanted, but it can still be a day for rebirth, renewal, and redemption. Today, I’m going to rise in every way I know how. I hope you will join me.
Happy Easter Sunday and Happy Passover.