Discovering again the fragility of who we are or what we are about is humbling and exhilirating at once. Age brings the awareness that what has been is a broader swath than what lies ahead; it sculpts the notion that time is precious and not to be squanadered on the meaningless or the empty, the cruel or the inhumane. Age, too, brings the inevitable consciousness of imperfection and the fun house mirror of images to light. There is a deep sense about what does not matter, and a deeper one about what does matter. And there is an element of understanding about the limits of personal self-control, that certain adventures belong to the decades of youth and young adulthood and, really, the adventures to come are anchored to the realities of physical space and socioloical structures which shape life.
There is a draining there, a space for emptying and catharsis. But there is also a beginning, an opportunity to re-make, re-do and celebrate what it means to be alive, to be learning and even to believe. There is a sense of independence and interdependence. The second is underscored by goodness and kindness proferred at the most unexpected moments. In a world that so definitely celebrates the uniquesness of individuals and preserving the rights of each person, there is a certain gratitude for recognition, for gentle kindness.
The real empowerment of the Easter season comes alive in this season of the Church. And it speaks differently at each phase of human life; at each step, it merits re-visiting. This year, in a world bursting with brokenness, in an era of social and political era of angry and defamation. the promise comes again. Jesus’ final message to the disciples rests in the idea that He may not always be with them, but He will never leave them. He introduces the idea of the Spirit as a companion on the journey, a viable support in the moments of journeying through every stage. That very promise is the acknowledgement that personal failure is inevitable and to be learned from, that feelings are complicated and actions are choices, and mistakes will occur. The ability to realign, to search out options and to keep trying to love one another as God has loved us, that is the gift of the Spirit: the strength to leep focusing on the effort, to make purposeful and intentional decisions about how to live, work, play and love.
The vitality of belief may not be understood or even recognized. But it is what sustains through the most challenging of circumstances and the most confusing of moments. Belief makes us own that step backwards to breath deeply and acknowledge truthfully who we are and how we can become better people. The Spirit can source and nurture that possibility when the greatest of challenges prevail. Celebrating the reality that we can be better, that there are reasons to be better and knowing that others are striving for the same linked the disciples one to another through trials and then generations. Encountering fragility enables us to know courage and strength.