I WASH MY HANDS FOR YOU
At the start of this year, community was still an external concept to take on or put off, as we prefer. There was me; and then there were other people. Then the era of physical distancing and mutual responsibility for social health descended on us. We swiftly learned how interconnected we are in ways we never considered. Coming into the presence of another, I bring with me every place I’ve been, everything I’ve touched, every decision I’ve made: those careful and safe, or thoughtless and dangerous. I carry my present self, but also the past with me as I go. And because I do, I also carry a potential future to all I meet. Will mine be a healing presence, or a harmful one?
This critical episode of pandemic might serve as a metaphor for all of life. For you and I always bear within us the present, past, and all potential futures. In how we engage each other, ours is a life-giving or death-dealing presence. “Washing our hands” is normally a term of indifference, a dismissal of responsibility. Pilate dips his hands in a bowl, wipes them off, and leaves Jesus to his fate. This year, hand-washing morphed into the most civic-minded and caring thing we could do for our neighbor. We washed as a response of utmost respect for life: Mine. Yours. Everybody’s. The gesture of hand-washing replaced the holy water fonts to which we temporarily lost access. Washing became a genuine act of blessing.
reprinted with permission from TrueQuest Communications