Thoughts on Good Friday
Just having come back from Israel, Holy Week seems a little more real for me, even though this is not a part of my current religious tradition. We visited Nazareth, where Jesus lived for 30 of his 33 years. We passed by the Garden of Gethsemene and walked on the Via della Rosa. These places mentioned in the New Testament became much more tangible.
For at least 10 years now, Easter has been a time when I organized community outreach to make sure several local families had Easter baskets for the children and grocery store certificates to cover Easter dinner. But it seems ever since the tragic death of my friend Tondrea (December 9, "A Job Story in the Washington Ghetto") last year, I have lost my zeal for this project. Her enthusiasm and her constant striving to ride the poverty wave were reasons for my efforts.
Maybe by the time Thanksgiving rolls around, I will be ready to start over with new families that need help. There is no shortage of such families in the Suitland area where I work.
But for now, I picture Tondrea rising above all the earthly problems she dealt with on a daily basis – her 19-year-old daughter in the hospital, paralyzed during a drive-by shooting, her son in prison because he tried to go after those who shot his sister, her granddaughter who was left without a mother to care for her, paying the mortgage on a GS-4 salary. Tondrea always had a smile on her face despite these problems and she befriended those in worse shape than she was in this suburban ghetto. I must believe hers is an Easter story and that there is eternal life for people like Tondrea who have dealt with so much adversity in life here on earth.
It’s a gray overcast day, just like it must have been on that Friday almost 2,000 years ago. The idea of resurrection gives us a lot to ponder...