Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Easter procession

We passed a group of villagers following a priest carrying a wooden cross on Easter Friday. At first we were tempted to write the scene off as any number of small-town revivals marked by scratchy loud speakers and fervent calls to repentance. Rather, it was a peacefully quiet crowd of all ages kneeling in prayer facing the cross, their backs silhouetted against the brightly colored facade of the town’s few kiosks bordering the dusty road we traveled on.

Further on we stopped for a bathroom break and realized we had created a barrier of sorts with our parked car to the worshipers, now forming a procession and coming our way. We giggled nervously as we faced the stoically approaching wall of people. But it took only a moment to remember the cross that they followed, to see the peace on their faces, the hands held between generations - all in their Sunday best. I asked if I should move our car so that we didn’t get in the way of their march, realizing as I did that such a barrier could do nothing to stop such a group. Their faith, their journey, their very existence reflected the perfect synchronicity of grief and hope that Easter celebrates. To this crowd of believers the road was wide open; such obstacles were only to circumvent.

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