If we don’t believe that love triumphs over all, we have no hope. The evil forces arrayed against our lives are overwhelming otherwise. But it’s not enough to cling to a belief in some vague fairy tale, which might or might not come true. We need to see the proof for hope to be real, a fact Jesus completely understood. The story of Doubting Thomas, who had to touch Christ’s wounds himself, shows that Jesus knew that only proof would do.But the best single line in the piece?
The miracles throughout the Gospels are all about the proof. Yes, Jesus is the Son of God. Yes, he can and will raise us from the deaths we suffer by injustice and war and homophobia and patriarchy and apartheid, as well as mere disease and old age. In the case of his pal Lazarus, Jesus even waited to intervene till after he expired, old and moldy in the grave (“Lord, he stinketh”) before giving him life again.
But Jesus isn’t here today, we can’t see him, so where’s this proof?
The proof is in my friend Peter, diabetic and morbidly obese when I met him, barely able to walk; he’s lost a couple hundred pounds since lap-band surgery.
The proof is in my friend Leonardo, who should have been dead by now, but got saved by Higher Power.
The proof is in my own body – in all my friends; Helen and Marc in Crawfordsville, who lost their genius son at age 19; in Stephanie, my weeping correspondent today; in all the 1.3 million visitors to my Daily Office websites since 2004. The proof is in Desmond Tutu, in Mother Teresa, in Ryan White. The proof is in the plaintiffs in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, a bunch of ordinary Lesbian and Gay couples suing for the right to marry, when 40 years ago – the same era when I first heard “Love Unknown” – Gay people were the most stigmatized and hated folks on the planet. (There, I said it, it’s true, and no amount of bitching about racism can change the fact.)
Christ is there in all of them; Christ is here in all of us. You are yourself the proof.
So what’s so good about Good Friday? Well, three days later Jesus walks out of the tomb, much to the consternation of Wall Street and the Republicans.
Anyway, here's the hymn: