By Rev. Nathan Day Wilson, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
In a poignant scene in Albert Camus’ “The Plague” – which reads like it was published weeks ago, instead of in 1947 – the doctor works tirelessly to lessen the suffering of those around him. But he is no hero.
“This whole thing is not about heroism,” he says. “It may seem a ridiculous idea, but the only way to fight the plague is with decency.”
As we enter this Easter Season, I find myself wondering more than most years what new life might emerge from the tomb of much death. Whatever it is, I hope it is characterized by more decency. I hope it embraces our interdependence over our independence. I hope it embodies Bill Withers’ gospel: “Lean on me when you’re not strong” because we all know, “it won’t be long ’til I’m gonna need somebody to lean on.”
I hope it is life with leaders, equal parts compassion and courage, who realize that the world must be managed, not its parts. No longer is the survival unit a single nation or a single anything. It is now the unity of the whole world – humans, other animals, and the environment – that is an urgent, pragmatic necessity. That unity is not ours to create, but rather to claim.
“With what shall I come before the Lord,
and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
8 He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
Wilson, an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), is director of communications for Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. Subscribe to his blog at www.nathandaywilson.com and follow him on Twitter: @nathandaywilson