March 28: Hope helps us overcome fear, indifference
Snow is gently falling this Saturday morning in Edmonton. It is near silent outside. I live a block away from 75th Street, one of the main arteries in this city which refuses to stop growing. But the last 10 days, two weeks, traffic on 75th has slowed to a trickle. The temperature is -10C, far too cold for the 28th of March. Perhaps this is the winter that will never end, the winter without Christmas.
But Aurora, our dog, and I went for short walk, facing first into a cold breeze. Few people were out on the street, a change from the warmer days of this past week. Nora was at the Farmers’ Market where crowds were much smaller than the previous Saturday. People, I guess, are settling into this practice of distancing and isolation.
Last evening, we watched Pope Francis’ prayer ceremony and Urbi et Orbi address and blessings. A beautiful celebration that lifted our spirits. We are all in the same boat amidst a turbulent storm, the pope said. In the boat, Jesus is asleep. When he awakes, the disciples are full of fear. “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” he asks.
In our times, some are not afraid because they do not know the risk or because they have no respect for the lives of others. Others are afraid because they know the risk and must serve despite their fear. Rarer are those who know the risk but serve because they put the needs of others above their own safety. Those are the ones with hope, a hope rooted in faith.