It rained for most of the day yesterday and, today, it’s just gray and drab looking. But it’s Easter, the most holy day in the Christian calendar, at least for the western church. For the Eastern Orthodox church, Easter, also called Pascua or Resurrection Sunday, is next week. In addition, it is the second day of Passover, which is a commemoration of the Israelites’ fleeing from bondage to a cruel Pharoah in Egypt.
Yesterday, I was thinking about the concept of religious “tolerance.” There are so many religious traditions on our beautiful Earth home. The idea is that we should practice “tolerance” for other people’s faiths. As I was walking yesterday, I was thinking that “tolerance” felt like a rather low standard. Is it enough to tolerate people because they have a different ways of expressing their spirituality? Can’t we do better? Maybe appreciation of our rich and diverse world? How can we love our neighbor better? Who do we define as being a neighbor?
I sit by my window, and I watch the birds walking around the back yard, probably looking for worms. The sky is overcast and not a hint of blue peers out through the clouds. I hear the bird songs from a distance. I rejoice in the sights and in hearing the sounds of spring unfolding. They are the sounds of life, something that is delicate and easily broken.
The violence in Sri Lanka shocks us and wakes us to the fact that even tolerance may be a difficult goal to achieve. So many people gone, and we really don’t know why. Our hearts break for the families that have been torn apart, on Easter, on the day that signifies life and rebirth.
How do we find peace, healing, and reconciliation in a world so torn by violence?