Saturday, March 26, 2005

"Greater love..."

It's Eastertime. Holiday weekend in the West, fervent and dedicated worship

in Africa, the Phillipines and a few other places where hardship and real need
is still the 'daily bread'

Existing in our 'benign indulgence'condition here in the West it is rarely

afforded to us to face the trauma of daily survival- and the consequent 'belief
system need' that offers some hope for better days -that is the daily eucharist
of so many in this world.

Just occasionally we get glimpses,revert to 'faith orientated hopes',and usually

in the face of great calamity. Some of these calamities the polarities of nature,
some the indifference or negative metaphors of other human beings.

In so many of these circumstances we witness the fulfillment of the words
"Greater love hath no man than that he lay down his life for his friends."

If you think this is an especially 'christian concept', think again!
In so many cultures in history there have been so many individuals
who have manifested this truth of' unconditional, unlimited lovingness'.

It often happens quietly and without great acclaim. But it happens all the
time. The symbolism of Easter, the ultimate sacrifice of the self for others,
is a constant theme throughout humanity.

In all areas this can be found.

So, this 'christian' Easter I remember Islam - an adolescent youth,a muslim
with the name Islam.

"According to the eyewitnesses, after the first explosion the boy rushed to
a call of an injured girl. "Help!" she moaned desperately. Islam only had time
to approach to her, when they shot him in the back. Maybe that was the same
terrorist who promised the boy to kill him: In the overfilled hall people were
forced to sit for hours in a closed proximity. When Islam Khadikov rose in
order to relax numb muscles, a nearby terrorist ordered him to sit down under
the death threat. "You will not kill me,I am a Muslim", answered Islam. "I will
kill you personally", maliciously replied the terrorist." (quoted from the Beslan
website: )

Despite having been harshly warned by the terrorist, Islam Khadikov still went
to the assistance of that young girl in that school gymnasium at Beslan.
Islam's story is one of many, many that occurred during the horrors of those
days in Beslan. Stories of amazing courage and almost unbelievable lovingness.
It would be unbelievable if it had not actually happened.

Easter is not history. Easter, it's full symbolic meaning, echoes throughout
history and it matters not which religious 'label' we wear.

Islam Khadikov was killed by members of his own religion. Islam Khadikov
died in the act of trying to save another. Islam Khadikov was 14 years old.

Unconditional love.

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