Lee was whole and fully alive until he took his last breath, reminding so many of us what is important in life—not deadlines, appearance, competence, control, accomplishments or perfect health—but joy, patience, persistence, faith, compassion, gratitude, and wonder.
“Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.” It was as if Jesus was saying that for us to be all in with him, we have to accept his servanthood, his sacrifice, his soon to be public death, his fulfillment of his Father’s will, his uncomfortable, inconvenient, unconventional, unconditional love. All or nothing.
I think of Holy Week each year as a kind of pilgrim’s path, where we set out each year with both longing and dread, to open ourselves physically, emotionally and spiritually to the path that Jesus has set for us—the path of a life of self-sacrifice that he has shown us by walking it first.
He came into the world so that those that are blind may see and those that see may become blind.
“Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.”
A stance of love and forgiveness toward even those who might destroy us, is not one of excusing their hate, but refusing to give it a home in our own hearts.
For when we find ourselves in a wasteland, either of our own making, or beyond our power to affect, we are always left with the question: What do we do now?
What the Magi, the Wise Men, found by the light of that star, is that once the Messiah had come into the world, he became our true home.
Throughout the generations, from Abraham to Jesus, God lived up to his promises to be with his people—with protection, guidance, mercy, grace, and love. Jesus the Word put flesh on those promises, sealing God’s commitment to Creation for all time.
This day honors the beginning of all beginnings, the hope of all hopes, the epitome and the incarnation of all fresh starts, all clean slates and all tomorrows.