by David Bradshaw, My Idea Factory
Dearest Daughters and Grandchildren,
I have always loved the Easter season and the fond memories of chocolate bunnies, colorful egg hunts and seeing my girls all dressed up in fancy dresses. I also enjoy the longer, warmer days and blooming flowers which remind us that new hopes can spring eternal every year.
But the Easter of 2020 brings with it a very different moment — a global pandemic that threatens our survival full of suffering, from which none are immune.
I am thankful to hear that you are all healthy and making the best of this crisis which has isolated us from each other during this season.
Aside from watching the gloomy news, Netflix binge watching, staying in touch on social media and stirring up some new creative projects, I want to encourage you to read something inspiring — and perhaps write down a few reflections about what you’re learning from this interruption from ‘life as usual’.
During this unplanned break from school, work and many of the other things we’ve always done, I say let’s focus on doing some new things!
For me, that meant embracing a new family member, ‘Blu’ my new best friend and rescue Springer-Aussie pup. I now have a new mission; training him to have good manners, walk nicely and only chew his designated toys. And, since I can’t swim or gym, I’ve become a regular hiker instead — and together we’re exploring new horizons daily.
This period of solitude also reminds me that whatever minor inconveniences I may face to maintain social distancing, conserving TP, etc. are minuscule compared to the suffering millions are facing amid lost jobs and especially those on the front lines of fighting this pandemic — both the sick and those brave souls bringing comfort and healing.
I’m also reminded that when I face unpleasant circumstances which are out of my control, I have a two choices; to either complain (which serves no purpose) or to accept the circumstances and allow them to change me. I choose the later, and hope you do too!
As tragic as this global crisis is right now, I can’t help but look beyond the depressingly dark clouds to see at least five silver linings which could change my life (and yours) for the better. They are …
1. I’m reminded that life is hard — but I am comforted knowing that God is ever present to help lighten our burdens.
2. I’m not what’s most important — yet I can rejoice because I know that my name is written in heaven.
3. My life is not about me — but rather, my life is valuable as I serve God and others.
4. I’m not in control of my life — so why should I waste time worrying about the future?
5. I’m eventually going to die — as we all must, yet I know that nothing in life or death can separate me from the love of God!
These, my darling daughters and grandchildren, are the hidden treasures within this and every other crisis we must and will face in this life, as explained by my trusted mentor Richard Rohr in his inspiring daily devotionals from the Center for Action and Contemplation.
My prayer for our family, and our nation, is that we will grow through this crisis — spiritually, emotionally and mentally — by making space in our heart/soul for God’s grace and resurrection power during this once in a lifetime Easter season!