Easter in Africa - Reflections

 Easter in Africa-Reflection on Hollow things in Life

 

Hollow Things... and more

Easter Reflections in Africa


The day was warm, hot most people would say, the humidity hung in there like a heavy blanket over Kampala, Uganda. I was sitting at my favorite outside table, at my favorite lunchtime restaurant, City Bar and Grill located on Kampala Avenue which was the main street through town.A hollow Easter Bunny...sadly our lives can be like that.

It was Easter Sunday, the special was Kampala matoke, a sort of mashed banana, steamed under leaves, with beef and a gravy...I chose my standby, a steak sandwich on a baguette, a cold coke in a glass bottle and some chips or as we would call them fries.

While I was waiting for my food I looked around the large patio at some of the people sitting there...I glanced at the man in a suit and tie, reading the newspaper, wondering what was going on in his mind ....I looked at the young couple talking softly to one another a few tables over....I saw the single woman with her cellular, a real symbol of status attached to her ear as she was discussing something with the person on the other end...I saw the tall man entering the restaurant from the street, dressed impeccably, surely he had spend a lot of money on these symbols of success, on the image of having it together.

A smile came across my face...image...what kind of image did I project to the people around me, to the people involved in my life....was the image really me or just another shadow projected on the walls of life. Things like what we wear, titles we have, cars we drive, all things I did to impress others and knowing that others did the same. We can go through great lengths to do so...we can buy books we will never read...putting them into strategic locations in order to impress others, we buy designer labels, designer this and that, we buy things, wear things, do things, always thinking that they will give us an added dimension...that they will gain us love, acceptance...we try so hard to impress others...and ourselves...and after seasons of it we can believe our own pretense as real, but then in the divine providence of the universe we are reminded that we are not what we project...that we are merely mortal...are not as strong, as powerful, as together as we pretend to be in ourselves...but in need for the divine within us all to come forth and give us the courage to accept ourselves for who we are, contend with who we are, allowing us to be ourselves...as we are....so that the divine within us can lead us to be the person we were made and gifted to be...instead of this image we so often pretend to be.

On this Easter Sunday, my thoughts went back to my childhood, to another Easter Sunday when I was much younger...That morning when I got up before everyone else...looking for my Easter basket that the bunny had brought  The town I grew up in Germany. during the night....or so I thought. After some searching I found it hidden away in the kitchen behind the corner cabinet...my eyes could not believe what they saw...there was a huge chocolate rabbit in the basket, almost two feet in height. I looked at it and was simply delighted...I wanted to show it to my grandparents who lived on the floor beneath ours and ran down the steps, trying to balance the basket with the rabbit inside...Just then it almost leaped out and tumbled down the steps, breaking into hundreds of pieces....It had not been but less than a minute since I had found it and now it was broken....shattered...As I began to pick up the pieces, eating some in order to console myself, I thought what if this bunny, had been solid chocolate, had been whole, maybe it would have not shattered like this?

Sitting there on another Easter Sunday, I thought about the many hollow things in my life that had broken, shattered. Images destroyed, air castles taken down, vain images removed....a smile came across my face...realizing that such brokenness was not bad, but a call to me personally for wholeness, for being a solid being and not just a molded image that I was trying to fit into...free to be me...to accept who I was...to allow myself to be authentic, real, to know and to be known.

Post Note: The struggle for authenticity is not a one time battle, but an ongoing inner work that never ceases. The work of the soul needs to be tended to like a garden with grace and care. Neglect of it brings us back to where we were. The patterns of the past come to haunt us once again and the shame that comes along with it keeping us bound not to who we really can be but as we through our distorted sight see ourselves...jon

It is the nature of reason to see to the end, It is the nature of desire not to do so.

Rumi

        

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Easter in Africa - Reflections

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