We had a lot of company, I discovered, when we hit the pavement the other evening for a post-dinner walk around the neighborhood.
As it happens, our house is situated about a mile-and-a-half from a big public high school – and the street just up from ours had been selected as a “parade route” of sorts for the 2020 graduates.
So that explained why we spied well-wishers – dozens and dozens of them – setting up chairs all along the sidewalk, block after block. Most seemed to be doing their best to maintain a safe social distance. But I noticed a fair amount of fudging going on, too: Very few (if any) of the congregants wore cough-masks. And it’s ever-so-possible that something less than a six-foot distance was being maintained between each person along the way.
Not too surprising, I suppose. Eight weeks into our state’s shelter-in-place mandate, folks have begun to chafe at the imposed isolation. We are experiencing a thirst that a Zoom chat does not seem to quench. And so, our “social quota” has begun to trump our caution. We are feeling the deprivation in our bones.
On some level, I guess I’m glad that the local Class of 2020 got its drive-by celebration. I’ll leave to others to discuss the wisdom or folly contained in such decisions to congregate, even when spurred by noble intent.
For my part, I find myself more intrigued by this thirst itself – a thirst made manifest in an impromptu parade. And part of me wonders how many of my neighbors recognized the Grand Marshall at the head of the procession. I thought sure I saw him there – the One with the power to calm our stormy seas and offer us Living Water.
Perhaps that makes me a little like Saint Peter, who reminds us in this Sunday’s second reading:
Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope…
If we truly live as Easter people, we don’t need to have every answer in hand. We can look beyond (imperfect) science, and draw courage from the Eternal Source of Life beckoning us forward.
Christ is Risen! He is Risen, indeed! Amen, Alleluia!
Let us pause now…to recall that we are in the presence of the Holy & Merciful One.