The Lenten season has never been a comfortable one for me. Not only is there the expectation of physical discomfort added to an already existing level of discomfort in order to remember the suffering of Jesus, but there is also the ideological discomfort of the intense appreciation that I feel for a oneness of G_d needed to hold the world together, and the elevation of this ideal to sacredness within both the Jewish and Muslim faiths, while at the same time recognizing that plurality of vision and empowerment allows individuality, freedom, and choice – all ideals that I cherish deeply.
So, I put on my Indiana Jones hat for the season, and politely refrain from reliving the conflict where Jesus is crucified for being different, for having a following, for his unorthadox views. And I prepare to celebrate Easter in a few weeks, as the time when religion becomes safe again.
What does it mean to put on the Indiana Jones hat? It means appreciating the cultural heritage that religion has brought to our history, and wanting to see that preserved. It means exploring both time and space, picking up tiny remnants from the past, using one’s logic to the best of one’s ability to put all of what one knows about history together correctly, and using our imagination to create wonderful stories about everything that might be missing in fact.
Today, within the first week of spring – the weather is beautiful, and I celebrate the lives of every little puppy out there who needs a loving home, hoping that their lives will be valued and treasured for the gift that they are. I spend a little extra time with my dogs, taking them to the dog park, and for a longer walk, hugging them to let them know that their gift to me has been so meaningful.