Thursday, March 12, 2020

Christina Grimmie's Courage Helps Us Face Today's Troubles

Christina Grimmie was born 26 years ago today.

All over the world, those who help preserve her legacy ("Team Grimmie") mark this day, remembering her with a wide range of (sometimes conflicting) emotions, but above all with gratitude. We know that her brief beautiful life was, and remains, a great gift to the world.

Now, in 2020, as we all face more and more open dangers from epidemics and natural disasters we cannot control, and from the massive coalescence of human ignorance, negligence, and violence that surrounds us on all sides and exposes our tremendous vulnerability, we need more than ever witnesses who show us what makes life worth living.

What is there to hold onto beyond the "vanity" of all the worthless things that preoccupy us so much — the vanity that becomes so terribly obvious in a great human crisis? This year, Christina's birthday comes at a time when people all over the world feel the urgency of this question.

Presently, whole nations are being called upon to make significant sacrifices in an attempt to moderate the spread of a pandemic respiratory virus that can be life-threatening to older people and dangerously overwhelming for the resources of hospitals and healthcare facilities.

Whether we are close to the immediate effects of the pandemic of COVID-19 or more removed from them (for now), we need encouragement. Ongoing uncertainties make people anxious and often unreasonable. Even the strongest among us have fears and misgivings.

We need courage in the face of this threat, and other perils that will come after it in the future. To engender and sustain courage, we need to see more clearly the path that leads to the goal of life. We need confidence that we are made for something greater than all the forces that try to grind us down. At the heart of reality, there is a Mystery that is obscured from our limited view, but is always the source of our hope: a Mystery that guides all things, that fulfills life's promise; a Mystery of wisdom and beauty and love.

We can move forward if we reach toward this love with open hands and hearts, and remember that it's real, that it's worth living for, that it's worth dying for.

This year, especially, we have good reason to celebrate Christina Grimmie's birthday. Looking at her face, we see the promise of life, and  remembering her great heart, her outpouring of love, her heroism of loving to the very end  we glimpse that the fulfillment of life is a reality greater than death.

Her life was not wasted. It was a gift of love that continues to make a difference in the world, bringing healing, building bonds between people, radiating goodness, shining light in dark places.

She is truly and fully herself, living in God's heart, calling on us to be brave, showing us the way of love that pertains to all our circumstances and responsibilities, our maturity, our work, our sufferings, and whatever we need to do in dealing with COVID-19 and everything else the 21st Century throws at us. This is the "way of love" that she followed: the way that brings joy to life and that overcomes the fear of death.

Happy Birthday Christina Grimmie! Thank you!!💚💚