Monday, January 03, 2005

Releasing Souls

I saw an image in Time magazine today that showed a saffron-robed Buddhist monk releasing birds from a cage. The caption said that releasing the birds was a way to symbolically release the souls of the tsunami victims. In the midst of all the images of destruction and grief, the sight of this tranquil, compassionate monk making this simple gesture really got to me, and I sat and cried off all my mascara.
Those of us in the religion biz often wonder if our preaching and praying and ritualizing does any good at all, especially in the face of such dreadful occurrences. But right now I realize: some people deliver medicine, some put bodies in make-shift coffins, some release birds from cages. We all have our jobs, and they all have their beauty and necessity.
Pray without ceasing.


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