Quote from within:
"As this Holy Week turns toward the celebrations of the death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ, I believe it appropriate to recognize the holiness of those who have suffered the damning theft of a child by the state. In their own, specific way, they are God-like, having suffered what God knew on Good Friday—the theft of one’s own flesh, the kidnapping of the most-loved one, the loss of a reason to live.
Some of us hope for that day when there is no need for a term for parents who have lost their children. We wait for the day when such an unthinkable moment no longer occurs, when this impossible idea begging for wings to take flight, to pass over and protect so many who yet remain at risk for this tragedy in need of a name."
My heart felt crushed as I read Seifert's mention of the unfathomable thought of ever losing one's child or grandchild to violence at the same time that the author calls upon us to acknowledge that this very thing is happening at this very moment across the world at alarming, unconscionable levels.
Contemplating the level of agony, pain, and suffering that accompanies this violence is to peer into a fearful and foreboding abyss, this heart of darkness to the point that we seem incapable of either hitting, much less finding, the "re-set" button to turn this cascading flow of violence of epic proportions around.
To avoid falling into this abyss where but for God's grace, any one of us might find ourselves in a "passover situation," or crisis, as Seifert suggests, "begging for wings to take flight, to pass over and protect"—we must get close to the ground to find the truth in the stuff of our everyday, ethical relations and relationships in our families, communities, and work—and how these connect to policies, priorities, practices, and ways of knowing and being in the world.
The trick for me has also been to accept that the dark and evil forces that threaten to engulf are never more powerful than the goodness, magic, and greatness that motivates, heals, and inspires. A rich, full life of the body, mind, and spirit, in and with community and all our relations, is ours to have, if we can only be open to it.
This requires self-examination, however, as we all have to decide that we want to be among those that promote positive, democratic, social justice values and nurture these sensibilities—not ever for the purpose of numbing ourselves to others' suffering, but rather to advocate for ways of knowing and being in the world that reject the forces of death, violence, destruction, and despair.
These are ways of knowing and being that are so radical, they begin today, in this very moment. This is a world that we—both individually and collectively—decide on. It is a place where peace, caring, healing, hope, humility, love of community, and a good spirit abide. It is one that is in complete observance of other's right to similarly live lives in peace and dignity.
This ethos is conveyed by the Mayan concept of "In Lak'Ech"—which for us is the Golden Rule. "You are my other me." "Whatever I do to you, I do to me." "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." These are universal, redemptive values that when practiced, lead to personal liberation and transformation—both for ourselves personally and the world.
I recommend reading this post in its entirety. Regardless of our different faiths, religions, or creeds, may we all experience and express that sense of the resurrection, that spirit of renewal and re-birth that is not reducible to a day or an event, but rather to a praxis or practice, a lived, everyday aspect of being in the world—and with policies and priorities to match.
Paz/Peace. And blessings to all.