Day after day he waits and prays and strives to keep faith. He has experienced times of buoyant hope and times of sinking despair, but his character is defined by his undying faith in Christ. While he knows that he will walk anew in the Kingdom of God, he hopes to see the day that the strength returns to his legs during his earthly life. Yet, Ed bravely bears his infirmity believing it to be in God's good purpose. In the face of his daily struggles, he applies, to the point of virtuosity, his awareness of Jesus' sacrifices and love. He has manufactured from his physical deficit a spiritual asset through fixing his focus on the victory of Easter.
The life of this young man and, indeed, the life of Christ brings to mind the words of Henry James, "Life is useless unless heroic and sacrificial." The gift of the resurrection of Our Lord is the crowning glory of a life heroically and sacrificially lived. Preparing for His public ministry by His Lent?like desert experience, Jesus' eyes also must have been fixed on Easter. He would pour out His power and His truth to a mostly intractable audience. Many would seek Him out of curiosity or even boredom. Jesus would be the victim of the invective of a fearful elite and the inelegant scorn of the masses. It seems that only the strong of faith, the powerless and the suffering, the seeker of truth, and the beleaguered soul pleading for reclamation were to be enveloped in the course of the great mystery. With undaunted heroism, Jesus faced the tragic, inexorable ignorance of those whom He wished to teach and He reshaped the particular horror of His death into a triumphant sacrifice.
Opportunities to perform heroic and sacrificial deeds are innately linked to the Christian creed. Fueled by the power of Easter, one may not only survive spiritually, but also thrive against raw or even nightmarish evil. The martyrs would serve as eloquent spokespersons to this opinion. Genius once was defined as possessing the wherewithal to "counterattack the nightmare." Standing before the horror and sin of their approaching end, the martyrs brought to bear a death?defeating Easter faith. The genius of the martyrs is available to the average person living the average day. There is a constant spiritual exchange between the individual and their experiences. Every profound event and also every mundane occurrence in one's life is fraught with spiritual significance. Rev.ealed in the interplay is the quality of one's faith and character. The soul is tested in the appreciation of the gift of one's joys and in the response to the impact of one's fears. One can attack the nightmare because by the Easter event the infinite has overcome the finite and life has vanquished death.
The person of faith contributes to the parade of years worthwhile gifts. There is in the mortality of the current state evidence of immortal truths and a comfort borne in the inestimable benefices of the Christian faith.
"Whither we be young or old,
Our destiny, our being's heart and home,
Is with infinitude, and only there;
With hope it is, hope that can never die,
Effort and expectation and desire,
And something evermore about to be.
- Wordsworth (Book IV of The Prelude)
Along the road of life, each accomplishment, each completion retains a residue of longing. To walk with Christ is to touch that longing and to live an Easter hope seeking fulfillment.
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