- It is a time that ushers a state of rest and renewal that I need (annually) in my life.
- It is a time that invokes a state of reflection that I need in my heart and my mind.
The Value of ListeningIt is the act of listening that has caused me to connect (at least in some way) the times of old and these currents times together in a way that gives me an appreciation for people who simply know how to listen. I am no conformist and I am certainly an opinionated, get-in-your-face, moves to the beat of my own drum, and give-you-a-piece-of-my-mind type-woman. Nonetheless, I also understand the value of listening—the who, the why, and the when. It occurred to me than during a plague, these ancients who lived in Goshen thousands of years ago understood the value of listening too. Much like my current situation, they were instructed to stay inside. As to not over-simplify, it is fair to note that the story is more complex than just staying inside; but it was definitely part of the instructions. There is also the idea that being “outside” exposed these ancient ones to their own death. The Passover story seems to portray a sure and immediate death whereas the COVID-19 story is less severe with a possibility of infection that may lead to sickness that could cause death; nonetheless death is included in both stories. And, if you have known someone who has died from this virus (as I have) that death part pinches harder. I do not know how to avoid this plague and I have no guarantee that it will not befall me or my loved ones; but I do know that I plan on staying inside. Yes, because it is good sense; and yes, because I know how to listen. Yet because it is Passover, I would have been inside anyway remembering a story about a plague. But this year, this Passover, I am inside living a story about a plague. And in the spirit of this time-honored story (real or imagined), the people who stayed inside were spared. My prayer is that the plague passes over me and you too. May we be spared.
The Reward of RestThe art of stillness as a contemporary Passover observer is a skill that I have learned and perfected over time. But, this year I am afforded more stillness than I could ever produce on my own—and it is such a blessing. I usually have to pause my own life in a society and economy that remains busily moving as the country does not break during this time. But in this Passover memorial, the streets are quiet, commerce is slow, and I do not have report to work. Each morning, I can actually hear myself think and listen to the songbirds in the tree right outside my window and I do not have to rise at the crack of dawn to enjoy it. When I close my laptop and transition from teaching and managing (working) each day, there is full rest. Not merely the personal rest I have experienced on my own accord in previous Passover observances—but a pause and a silence that is healing. The peaceful and reflective thoughts I am privy to in this season are such a treat. My prayer is that you too partake in this healing stillness and experience this joyful rest.
I have firsthand re-learned the safety in heeding wise instructions and the health in full rest.
Happy Passover to you and yours.
Be safe, be healthy, and stay inside. 😊
~Love, Light, and Passover