Friday, April 06, 2007

What's so Good about Friday?

Total loss. Complete dejection. That knot in the pit of your stomach. That sense of dread, of fear, of uncertainty, even about tomorrow.

It's the phone call in the middle of the night that you did not expect. That relationship that seems irreversibly broken, with no possibility to mend.

Holding the hand of a dying parent, with no hope in sight. The inexplicable loss of a child. The end of the road. Ruins.

Last Thursday, I stood at the edge of Ground Zero in New York, the sight of the greatest single catastrophe in our country in the past 50+ years. Even as someone whose job deals with large real estate developments constantly, I was surprised at the scope of it all.

On that September day now more than 5 years ago, the weight of shock and loss in New York was beyond comprehension. This was a depth that seemed insurmountable. In my conversations with New Yorkers this past week, the topic of 9/11 would come up in the natural coarse of conversation; "ever since 9/11", or "since the tragic events of 9/11". 9/11. That is all you need to say. And I detected a momentary pause in the conversations, when the events of that day were, only briefly, recalled. But in that pause, volumes were communicated. All the pain, all the loss, all the despair.

And so, its Good Friday. And what is so good about this day? What is so good about a single purported Jewish mystic loosing his life more than 2,000 years ago? Is it just another death, another loss, more ancient pain, leading to nothing today?

Or might it be more, might it mean so much more. Might it not be the beginning of the most significant turning point in a remarkable mystery?

If you ask New Yorkers how they feel today about the events of the past 5 years, they would like have a million different answers. But I can tell you this, Ground Zero is now fully of cranes, trucks, construction workers shouting at one another, concrete trucks, noise, and the sounds of rebuilding. Its a nearly constant hum, which is the sound that all of New York gives off, 24 hours a day. That is what New Yorkers are, if nothing else. Rebuilders, renewers, movers, shakers; a city that recovers. And they are clearly recovering.

A whole in the ground. Immense, immeasurably, permanent pain. And strangely now, rebuilding, rebirth, renewal.

Maybe Good Friday is really, in the end, Good News.

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