It’s Palm Sunday.
Today is the day where Jesus was hailed as the King as he entered Jerusalem on a donkey. The people took off their garments and laid them down and waved palms as they cheered “Hosanna!” They had heard about what Jesus had just done with Lazarus. They had read the prophecies from 500 and 1,000 years earlier that the son of David would come on a donkey. It’s the first time Jesus allowed the adulation.
But He knew what was to come in just a few days.
Why was it a donkey that He chose to ride into town? Maybe it’s because they are known to be stubborn and stupid , yet the animal immediately surrendered its will when called by Jesus.
How quickly the people turned on Him, in just a matter of days. The mob that cheered for him with palms ended up sneering at Him as he was whipped and had thorns digging into His head days later.
Yet Jesus still said as one of His final words, “Forgive them, Father, for they do not know what they’ve done.”
I pray He still is asking His Father to forgive us.
I’ve been working ten to twelve hour days trying to figure out how to teach kindergarten online, keep the children calm and happy, make sure my own children are ok, and now research what being triple positive means all of a sudden after being her2- for the past three years. Having some PTSD from the side effects Tuesday and thinking I was dying alone. Living through a pandemic. Worrying about my parents.
So I decided to take a walk to the beach. Sometimes I go the the sound, and sometimes I go to the bay. I never go to where the people are, instead I walk on the private beaches where I spent my summers on the sound, or sit by the boat slips on the bay because there is never anyone there.
I didnt want to waste a surgical mask, so I made my very own lularoe leggings no sew masks I figured that would be safe as I always walk across the street if I see someone coming, and stay away from people in general.
I was shocked when I got to the boat slips. There was about ten teens or so, having a party. Music, being loud, screaming. They were all hanging out at a picnic table. I made sure to walk down the boat slip next to them so they could see someone was there. They got even louder. I know these kids. They are local kids. I know their families. I was angry. I then debated if I should text their families and ask if they knew what was happening, or should I call the police? But I also know the police are overwhelmed with covid cases and dealing with stupid kids is the last thing they need.
It became clear to me that families who allow their teens or children to party or even if they just hang out do not care about my life.
I am collateral damage.
Entitled and privileged are the words that came to mind.
I know it’s hard. I know it’s sad.
Believe me, I’ve been living hard and sad for years. But you all have a light at the end of this covid tunnel. People like me? It’s just one detour in the long dark tunnel we’ve already been in.
So now, I cant take a chance anymore and go to one of the few places I found peace. It’s yet another thing I give up because those who won’t die don’t care.
If you don’t live with the person, you should not be with the person. Period. It’s like the sexual diseases lesson. If you have unprotected sex with someone, you are having sex with every other person that partner had sex with. You don’t know where they’ve been or who they’ve been with.
Since there aren’t enough PPE for everyone, (condoms in the sex scenario), use abstinence. Just don’t do it.
On the walk home, I prayed out loud for Jesus to protect me and my family and especially my parents. I asked for protection for the police, especially my sister. I asked for protection for my nurses and doctors. My feed is full of my nurse friends coming home crying and exhausted, and then going back the next day full of fear and anxiety. Then? A red bird flew by. I am praying my prayers are answered.
A bright spot yesterday was when one of my students from last year put up little tiny hand signs in his front yard thanking the essential workers and also reminding people about staying safe. His mom asked for people to honk, so I decided to go honk. He was outside when I drove by and we talked from across the street. It made my day. My sister was working and she met him last year when she visited my class. He loves the police, so she decided to stop by in her patrol car. I texted my principals and his teacher a video the student made saying how he misses them… and my principal decided to drive by the house too. Three visits by a teacher, police officer, and his principal. It made his day.
This is going to continue for a while, especially if people don’t listen. My state has the most cases by far, and Long Island is not slowing down. We need to listen. We need to force our kids to stay home and away. It’s not that we are stuck at home doing nothing. We are staying home and saving lives.
That’s doing a lot more than nothing.
Some teens in decades past had to go to war to save lives. Now? Just stay home and play video games or FaceTime and eat warm meals in your own bed and do it for your country. It’s ok to be sad or upset about it. It’s normal. But please, don’t take chances because you’ll be ok. It’s not about you.
For the first time in a long time we are not getting palms. That’s ok.
Our prayers aren’t always answered, but the promise to always be with us rings true now more than ever.
Today, may we all try to be like the donkey, and surrender our will to serve Jesus and others.
In Jesus’s name, amen.