For Easter 2021
I am posting this Easter essay a bit early, in the hope that whoever might read it, might still have time to buy some of these eggs-tra-ordinary ceramic eggs from an Etsy seller — before Easter arrives. Colleen in Texas and her EggceteraTX shop create eggs that look like a cross between a real egg and a Jordan almond. The “shell” even feels like a genuine egg.
Last week, in early March, I became very determined that — this year — I would celebrate Easter Made-in-the-USA, in ways I’d not been able to during previous years in this nation. The recent retail discoveries online were revelations to me! Made in the USA is winning the patriotic day, every day.
Easter last year in America was not what one might call a celebration of the Resurrection and the Life. And yet, in retrospect, I now understand how this sacred holiday became an experience of renewed and ardent hope in many things; in many of the intangible things that matter so very much to a trusting soul.
It is the trusting soul in life who suffers most during the perpetrations of flagrant deception and obscene fraud against trust and against the human condition. Those sins and crimes are so contrary to nature, to humanity, and to God that the trusting soul is typically incapable of beholding the enormity of those betrayals. It hurts too much for any person to quickly see how his trust was used, like a sharply edged weapon, against him. To have your faith and hope and charity used against you is to be human. To use those precious intangibles against another person, that act is inhuman, and evil.
When you stop to think about the ingrained iniquity of perfidy, the traitor does not bother to double-deal the non-trusting heart. That extortion of human kindness would be futile: how much goodness is there to extract through guile from a leery chancer of like mind?
The charlatan much prefers to go after the altruistic slob and her stalwart belief in belief. The sensitive schlub is all too willing to believe, needing to believe, and wanting to believe in the noble aspect of the noble lie being told by the con artist. In truth, the noble lie of today ain’t noble. It’s a pitiful fib, more a dismal forgery of the truth than an artfully created invention. Shell games are not what they used to be, at least in the USA. All of that out-sourcing of manufacturing has led to cheap gaudy shakedowns that require corporate sponsorship of 1 flimsy eggshell and no pea.
With a pagan heart and a foul spirit, the fiend swindles the trusting soul of certitude and surety in goodness and goodwill, even good cheer. His thirty pieces of silver are bought with the unending cost of his soul. The Judas kiss came to be, for the most hideous and the most divine of reasons. The trusting soul trades in trust for an abhorrent sense of shame, and the type of self-loathing that ensures another rip-off of the soul by a more cunning charlatan.
In truth, the trusting soul who has been betrayed hungers for misericorde, not condemnation, from her fellow comrades on this journey called life.
About seven years ago, I encountered, through a business transaction online, a Frenchwoman who lived in a town in the very north of France, not far from Lille, the birthplace of Charles de Gaulle. Initially, my interactions with this woman were literary, linguistic, and artistic in nature; then, over the course of the next couple of years, this Française allowed me to become aware of her sorrows, and of her extreme struggles with faith in God, in the face of enormous grief and doubt and fear.
She held an unshakeable belief in angels; and in the untold mysteries of a spiritual dimension in life. In a lamentable manner, she explained to me that every time she tried to walk into a church, she could not do so. She turned around and walked away.
I, perhaps too matter-of-factly, told her that she did not have to go into a church to find God; chances are, nowadays, she won’t. In her bedroom, alone, she could seek comfort and solace from her Lord. She could quietly read the Psalms, and God would hear her.
This Frenchwoman did not disagree with me; neither did she affirm any of my statements. I nonetheless have abundant faith that eventually, petit à petit, peu à peu, she realized the amazing grace that her French religious training had not offered to her. She’d yearned for spiritual answers that only she could find — within herself. I sought to guide her toward those revelations. I was not, and am not, content to merely pen such verities in THE DAWN. I have to live those truths, not merely write them. Hah, the writing is the easy part of leading by example!
There are millions of individuals in this nation of America who have been in want of such divine revelations. They are extraordinarily being led to those awakenings through the countless acts of American heroism, benevolence, courage and kindness, magnanimous deeds that are never broadcast on any mortal medium in this very mortal world. And it is best that those small miracles remain silent acts of mercy between a wandering soul and the shepherd.
The Easter season, this year, unites the kindest of hearts and the most fervently faithful of souls in love. The British theologian and composer of hymns, John Fawcett wrote, in 1872, the lyrics of “Blest Be the Tie that Binds.” The timeless truth of this line lives just as powerfully today as it did upon its creation:
The fellowship of kindred minds
is like to that above.
Here, in America, we, among the merciful multitudes, silently and humbly offer our prayers to the Almighty; and we aspire toward the songs yet to be sung in a land that loves liberty, and life.