It is Good Friday. This is a day that resonates powerfully for me as a storyteller. Here are two things about the Good Friday story that sink into my heart today:
1. No matter who you are, no matter how the world has treated you, no matter how alone you feel, you matter so much – both in your uniqueness and in your identity as an essential part of humanity – that a handful of people in what is now Israel, Syria, and Turkey once wrote down a story about a God who, out of all the infinite cosmos, wanted to live on earth and breathe and have dinner and walk and talk and love and grieve and die with you. You matter.
2. On a day when some remember a story of an unjust (but legal) crucifixion conducted for political reasons, it is a good time for those of us who are more privileged to reflect that: a) there is a wide gap between law and justice, and our responsibility is always to stand in that gap; b) religious piety and love of one’s neighbor are not the same thing, and one may prevent the other, as it did for people in the story; c) seeking safety in a community or a nation is not a matter of finding and expelling the “lawbreakers” – after all, we have an entire religion whose origin story involves the time that God was expelled as a lawbreaker; d) we could be cautious of whose example we follow — do we wash our hands of the violence that is done with our tacit permission, like Pontius Pilate, or do interrupt the stone-throwers, do we we kneel and wash the feet of society’s outcasts, like Jesus?