Let's all practice 'holy peace'Apr 17, 2014 By Betty Starks Case
The magic of this story is that of new life. It is also a story of Easter. And of spring itself.
I've strolled the aisles of stuffed toys and candy displayed in stores. They are appealing. And I recall buying a few such items for our own little boy years ago.
But if I were a merchant hoping to draw the public into my place of business this time of year, I think I'd order a couple dozen baby chicks from the co-op and display them in a street-facing window.
Sound silly? One of the most memorable Easter displays I've seen in recent years was when a local merchant filled his window with a flock of fluffy, yellow chicks.
I returned again and again to that store to enjoy the delightful little peepers, to recall my childhood watching eggs change into real, live chicks, holding them in my hand, absorbing the sheer wonder of new life.
Of course, the chicks would need feed, water and warmth. And a plan for their future.
But isn't that the shape of most beginnings? A plan? And hope?
Speaking of hope -- who hasn't been following news stories of Malaysian Flight 370's mysterious disappearance and the coordinated search for the big plane and its 238 passengers?
In an unheard-of unity of world nations, at least eight or nine have joined in valiant effort to learn what happened. The American Bluefin-21 drone has been deployed to search the ocean floor. As of this writing, the drone has been programmed to search greater depths.
The mystery remains. But hope still lives. The search goes on.
I can't help thinking: What if this unusual display of world unity awakened us to the good we could accomplish in other ways? What if we all pitched in to better our world with the determination applied to the search for Malaysian 370?
If we couldn't save the passengers on that flight, we could honor them in memory with a living act of wonder.
I'd name it "holy peace."
You think I'm dreaming? All change begins with a dream. Doesn't Easter, like spring, speak of negative forces and the power to overcome?
In that vein, one of the most interesting and exciting works of hope for humanity is the recent news from London of new successes in laboratory growth of numerous body parts and transplanting them into people.
Windpipes, bladders, nostrils, blood vessels and other organs have been created from a patient's own cells and implanted successfully. Now more complicated parts like lungs and kidneys may be implanted without bodily rejection.
This method of transplantation is becoming more simple and easier to accomplish every day. Along with the battle against malaria and the Ebola virus in Africa, a cooperating world gradually could become one world -- offering to many a chance at new life.
In yet another news story, I read of an American helicopter pilot, imprisoned, then rescued in a foreign country.
On return home, the young pilot's father spoke humbly of his son's rescue, "It was sort of like when he was born."
That father, perhaps unknowingly, yet appropriately at this Easter season, spoke for the parents of all service men and women who return safe from danger.
It is like rebirth, a gift that brings its own peace.
I believe all humans have within them the power to make "holy peace" instead of the "holy war" that many strangely envision as the answer to world problems.
You may think this a far reach, but finding the best in ourselves and the world is a little like watching a bud on a dead-appearing brown stem burst into bloom, the ever-awesome birth of a baby, or a tiny bird popping out of a cracked eggshell.
Caring acts, like miracles of life themselves, give birth to the best and most beautiful within us and our world.
Such acts could be a gift of thanks to the holy man Easter is really about. They could express our gratitude to the spiritual one whose life and teachings were dedicated to helping us learn better ways to live this life and find hope for another.
Isn't that what the holy man lived and died for?
You might call it resurrection.
Then again, you might call it Easter-in-action.