Easter Gladness

Easter 2

Took an early morning walk and when I stepped out of the house I found myself totally immersed in birdsong, and the smells of blossoms and new green growing things. Started singing the Easter song to myself (with words by Frances Thompson Hill): “Let us sing of Easter gladness that rejoices every day. Sing of hope and faith uplifted, Love has rolled the stone away…” And as I got to that part in the song there was a break in the clouds, and the sunshine landed on my face – warm and reassuring – a blessing, a benediction…

        Glory be to God, and peace to the struggling hearts! Christ hath rolled away the stone from the door of human hope and faith, and through the revelation and demonstration of life in God, hath elevated them to possible at-one-ment with the spiritual idea of man.
– Mary Baker Eddy

***

I’m thinking about the stone that Love has been rolling away from my heart over the years – the ego, blame, self-will, guilt, fear, anger, selfishness, sense of being “put upon” and treated unfairly – and, though there’s still more stone-rolling needed in my consciousness, I’m so very grateful for the progress so far – so grateful for the light that’s reached me – so very glad to be alive – to be able to experience the birdsong and blossoms and sunshine of an Easter morning.

And here’s a cool thing – hope, renewal, love, joy – those things don’t need to be limited to some traditional church holiday, do they? Haleleujah, brothers and sisters! 🙂  We can have the glory of an Easter morning EVERY day…

…Every day will be an Easter 
Filled with benedictions new.
– Frances Thompson Hill

(Post originally published on April 20, 2014)

Making the World a Better Place

About once a week I walk into town to buy a hummus roasted veggie sandwich and to see my friend, Frank, who works at the sandwich place. Frank is gay. We’ve never talked about his gayness or my not-gayness or anyone’s whatever-ness in conversation – I mean – it’s not like people usually approach a new friend, shake hands, and introduce themselves by their labels – “Hi, I’m Karen and I’m a progressive bleeding heart liberal heterosexual female Christian Scientist of mostly European ancestry (although there might be some Basque Reptile alien in there, too) – and how about you? What are your labels?” – but, yeah, Frank is gay.

This week when Frank asked me how I was, I gave the usual, “I’m good. And how about you?” And he gave the usual, “I’m good.” But this time something made me stop and really look at Frank. And I asked, “Frank, how are you really?” Frank said it had been a rough week.

He said he’d been in a bar earlier in the week, and he’d heard people at the next table over saying – in deliberately loud voices so Frank could hear – “Yeah. Those people in Florida deserved it.” Frank had tried to remain civil to them – he and the bar-tender had had their own conversation – loud enough to be heard – about the terribleness of the tragedy. And the people at the next table spewed out some more hatred. And Frank wondered about them: Hadn’t they ever been targeted for being different in some way? Didn’t they know what that felt like?

I started tearing up. “Frank, where does that hate come from? I don’t understand it.” Frank shook his head sadly, and said he thought it came from ignorance – from people being afraid of what they don’t know. He said he leaves those people in the hands of the Lord – and he didn’t mean that in a vengeful way – but in a “God will help them” way.

I told Frank that I was with him. I told him that he wasn’t alone. And he thanked me and gave me a hug.

Later on I was thinking about what Frank had said – his wondering if those people had ever been targeted for being different – and it made me remember a time, years ago, when I’d been watching a local “town meeting” on television and I’d heard someone say that “All Christian Scientists should be lined up against a wall and shot.” It had been strange and disturbing to hear someone who didn’t know me wish me dead. It stuck with me. I learned something from that.

Anyone could become a target – hatred is a form of insanity, really, and it doesn’t have to make sense – maybe tomorrow it will be stubby people, or extra tall people, or people with green eyes, or left-handed people, who will become the targets.

I think when we take the time to get to know each other – to try to understand each other without judgment or condemnation – to listen to each other – when we take the time to get rid of our own ignorance – we are doing a lot to make the world a better place. It’s been said so many times, but I think it’s true: Love really IS the answer.

getting to know each other