A leap in the dark

Luyanda is an eight-year old girl who was born blind and deaf. We allow those two short words to sink in and we realise that two of the normal doors we have to connect us to the world are tightly closed against her. Yet when she feels safe, as she often does, she is a happy little girl secure in her parents’ love.

I only feed on scraps of information about her but there is one story that says it all. When Luyanda meets people she does it by touch and one day her mother brought her to meet some visitors to the Special Needs Project. She went round touching each one of the strangers but when she came back to her mother and touched her she leapt into her arms.

It is a simple story of love conquering huge disabilities. It is a leap standing for the ways in which people conquer fear by welcoming the unknown with hope. We have a sense that that taking risks makes us more human. We “set out without knowing where we are going” (Hebrews 11:8) and we arrive.

Each year we approach Easter, each in our own way. Perhaps we note it and enjoy the few days off associated with it. Perhaps we go to church and try to enter into the suffering, death and rising of Jesus. But then we return to our world and carry on.  Or perhaps we think of the Luyandas of our world who actually live the only death and resurrection we are likely to witness. In the Syrias and Yemens of today there are untold stories of people conquering appalling conditions and leaping into the arms of hope..

Can Easter make a difference? Or have we so tamed it with bunnies and eggs? Or even with devotions and prayers? Can Easter penetrate our tired familiarity and shock us as the women at the tomb and the huddled group in the upper room were shocked? As Jesus pierced the resigned “we had hoped” of the two on the way to Emmaus, can he also breach our defences and open us to what John of the Cross calls the onward rush of God.

It is Easter! That means all is possible. In the Passion Jesus breaks through the darkness – sin, hatred, exploitation, death – to the light. Everything is changed. There are now no limits. The impossible becomes possible. To be human is to make that leap. May he “easter” in us!

9 April 2017                                         Palm Sunday A

Matt 21:1-11,                                     Isaiah 50:4-7                       Phil 2:6-11                           Matt26:14-27:66

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