Call me Crazy ...

But, I'm in love!
Who wouldn't be? My grandsons met for the first time yesterday. Immediately Taliek (my oldest grandson, turning 7 next week) wanted to hold his cousin. Octavian is this wiggly, sweet 2 month old grandson newly added to our family and we had our reservations, but Taliek had faith he could do it and I sat back and let him hold his cousin and wasn't amazed at his gentleness and his attentiveness to the task. After all, we have guided him to this moment, teaching him to take care of those weaker or younger than himself.
     This is the Easter season. For all who want to know--this is the reason I am Christian. The idea that love is so encompassing that it makes you trust an almost 7-year old to hold such innocence--a love so powerful, that you can see it in this picture. A picture after all is worth a thousand words. How many ways can you say "love"? Let me count the ways.
     We can take today and remember that it is a day to forgive. We should forgive ourselves, our missteps, any pain we bring to another. We should forgive others the same way. The Christ is risen and today serves as a reminder of what that means. Joyfully, we say--"He is risen!" We know that death does not mean the end, but serves as a transcendent movement into another place in life. Today, I ask that you that know me forgive me, but in addition to that forgiveness, I ask for a chance to resolve any issues that may hang. Forgiveness is one of the steps towards reconciliation.
     Week before last, I got a chance to hear Dr. David Hooker at a Restorative Justice event in Oakland, California. Dr. Hooker talked about the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission and its work. He reminded us, however, that while truth telling was present and a necessary component of the process, there was insufficient opportunity for justice. In addition, Hooker explained that there was no peace process in the Commission work that included community engagement and because of that there are still a plethora of problems that still exist, exacerbated by this need to be heard, to find answers in the years of Apartheid that maimed both body and soul of many--the oppressor and the oppressed.
     No justice. No lasting peace.
     Today I ask for lasting peace and I ask for the strength to do this difficult and arduous work that will allow for it. I have had the opportunity to work with many people who have joined the quest for peace, its walk and work. In that time, I think some of my greatest hurts have come from the very place and those very times that are supposed to move us forward. For every step we take forward, there are too many times that we step backwards--fear and ignorance being the main culprit. Sometimes, we just don't know enough and often times, we just don't get it.
     What don't we get? We don't get that some of the things we say are inciteful. We don't get that our insensitivity about race, culture, gender and many other areas of our lives keeps us apart. The disparities within structures of government, communities and in our organizations remain something that keeps us apart. We don't get that the past is woven into our present and holds the future in the balance. If we recognized that today; that we affect 7 generations ahead of us, would we make different choices? The creation of technology is wonderful--but those things break down and our landfills are filled with trash that will never, ever dissolve. Does that mean that we should not "create"? Absolutely not--but we know more now and so, as we create, we have to think of the impact of those decisions on our future.
     Easter for me was its impact on the future--that someone loved me enough--before I was born, a twinkling in my mother's eye, so to speak--to sacrifice his life for me. I hope that I have the will, the strength, the fortitude to do the same. When I look at my grandson's, I think not just of their future, but the future of their children and their children's children--and I know that right now I'm willing to sacrifice my comfort, to not ignore the injustices, not only of the world, but of my own injustices to others--purposeful or not--doesn't matter. Today, I remember the Christ and this one thing, not that he died, but that he rose again.
     What does it teach me? It teaches me that we fall down, but we get up. Today I rise again, in spite of the pain and frustrations and even though I make my own mistakes, I get up today and join in the celebration of Christ rising as a message of hope for all. Peace.


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