When I was a kid, we were not allowed to listen to music, watch television or eat meat on Good Friday. I didn’t go to school and my parents didn’t go to work. All day long I was petrified that the devil himself was going to steal my soul because Jesus was dead and all hope was lost until Sunday. For one day, God was gone.
Looking back on this time, I can’t help but reflect on how different things are today. As I write this I wonder if an iPad is also an offending media device for the Deity who used to scare me into submission when I was a kid?
Reading this, you may be wondering if I am a religious person. Honestly, I’m probably not as religious today as I was back in the day when my prayers were governed by my parochial school education, but I am a person of faith.
I believe that this beautiful world in which we live was created by a being so supremely gifted that I have been blessed enough to see the beauty of the Caribbean waters, the reflective glaciers in Alaska, the mountains of Maui and the fog lifting early morning through the canals of Venice.
I have been blessed enough to walk through my home toward my bedroom where I will sleep in comfort, read words from a page that will transport me through my imagination, write words onto a page born from that same imagination and drive every early morning to a job where I can complete an honest day’s work.
I have been blessed by the look of love in my wife’s eyes, by my family’s affection, by high quality friends who improve my station in life and by the presence of all the children whose lives have touched my own.
To all these blessings (and this is but a limited listing) I attribute a higher power’s intervention in their bestowing on to me, a God of sorts. Maybe my God is not the face of the long, white, bearded man or the image of a thorn-crowned Jesus, but I do believe that someone greater than myself is looking out for me. I address these somewhat parental figures with the prayers of my childhood, The Lord’s Prayer and the Hail Mary (as Yvonne says, ‘if you want someone to do something, talk to his mother’), not knowing if I am praying to a person, a being, a spirit or any other omniscient being.
But I pray and I ask to be heard. I seek solace in the words and I find the responses to my prayers in the mundane moments of my daily life. These mundane moments define my happiness. My happiness guides my life. And my life, however difficult or joyful it is, reaffirms my faith. My faith reminds me that God, whatever my definition is of him, is always there. Even on Good Friday.