A year testing our humanity

It’s one year today since our nation first became officially under the wrath of the COVID-19 virus. More than a half-million dead; businesses lost forever; children and adults missing school, weddings… life.

Meanwhile the virus rages in countries around the world while we eagerly await our next round of stimulus checks. We are rapidly moving toward vaccination for everyone; yet others on our planet keep dying silently.

To cope, we all try to put on a good face. We march forth, working remotely, remaining productive, moving toward milestones such as virtual graduation. We desperately try to hold on to life until “normal” returns.

Yet what have we lost that was possibly designed to be taken from us? How much do we value things more than people? Even the most good-hearted of us should be convicted. We’re all flawed, in need of redemption.

Ten years ago this week, a tsunami wiped out a chunk of the Japanese coast and left it a wasteland. On the day of that event, I pondered how my troubled life might be reclaimed. I found the answer in the silence.

On an early-morning walk around Austin, Texas, I pondered the wounds that were so often self-inflicted. Yet I knew I was a “good person” – just imperfect. I needed to be torn down to the foundation to be rebuilt again.

Now, as we celebrate the Lenten season, many of us are mindful of how our life cycles are often marked by life, death, and resurrection. For me, that truth is a reminder that we are made imperfect to remain dependent.

If we’ve learned nothing else from the past year, that should be clear. None of us are the masters of our destiny. None of us are immortal. We are all in need of a fresh start, every minute, every hour of every day.

Still the questions begs: What can we do for others? We can’t bring loved ones back from the dead. Yet we can comfort, console, empathize, and send heartfelt prayers of consolation. Can’t we all agree on those simple things?

In a time of daily distraction and division, it is my hope. I believe a higher power is covering us with a spirt that wants compassion and unity. I challenge each of us, including myself, to do our part toward that goal.

Peace.

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