I commented to a friend recently that I never feel confident contributing to his Facebook discussions on religion. His acquaintances are so scholarly, so perfect in their recollection of chapter and verse in every context. It's intimidating. So usually, I stay away.
I feel the same way about church. I'm a doubter, a persistent one, and at least among my Catholic brothers and sisters, that's not super popular. I am intimidated by their righteousness, especially when I don't see honor in so much of what is done outside of church. So I stay away.
But not too far away. In fact, I remain tethered in this straddled position because this is where I feel nearest to my faith and most focused on the work of living its truth as I see it. And from this conflicted yet confident place, I've been looking upon Easter this year with wonder. Wondering how many times I must celebrate with greatest amazement something I've known all my life. It's like having a surprise party every single year on the same day for forty-some years. Doesn't it feels a little silly to shout "SURPRISE!" year after year? It does to me, anyway, but I think we're conceding here that I'm not the gal you should be following.
And then, as He always does, the good Lord just dropped himself into my living room (sometimes He shows up in other rooms, the room is not important, the dropping - focus on the dropping in). I sat down this morning and checked my Facebook page for scintillating updates on all things Buzzfeed and cat related and instead, I found a video my friend had posted on her page.
It showed how hidden cameras reveal 'thieves' and 'gangs' and others in acts they believe to be hidden. A young girl 'stealing' a kiss. A 'gang' helping a stuck car get moving again. A man risking himself to push someone off the tracks before a train barrels by. A man dancing in the street to an unheard tune. So often, too often, we use cameras to capture one another's faults, our sins. But here was this montage of hidden goodness, kindness, joy, the love that Jesus taught us being practiced every day all around the world, with no reward but the having done it because it was good and right.
I believe that one of the purposes of Jesus' life was to provide an example of how love can overcome any obstacle - sin, pain, hunger, even death. It was an example of turning toward love, into kindness, giving over every doubt in another's worthiness so as to only have room to carry compassion for him. But the example written is not enough, the example spoken, same. A person must see and feel, must experience in their own lives, these examples of love in order to truly understand them.
We do. I was reminded just now that we do. And that is why we rejoice. His love is in us, with us, and all around us, and that is worth celebrating every day.