Meditation on Being Hueman
The truth is we all walk through the valley of the shadow of death. And we all have opportunities to experience mountaintops. We have more in common than what we allow to separate us. The hoarders of wealth and power make great effort to distract and scare us away from this simple reality. We want to live in peace; to care for and educate our children; receive care when we or our loved ones are sick; to have the means to sustain ourselves, our families, and our communities; worship our God and love whom we love; drink toxin-free water and breath clean air.
And we all grieve. We are all members of the fellowship of suffering.
As a lifelong NBA fanatic, and a Lakers fan from the time Kareem joined the franchise… yup, I’m that old ... I followed Kobe from his entrance into the league at 17. When someone has been a part of your consciousness for 20+ years, and they are suddenly, tragically, inexplicably taken away, you can’t help but feel a painful void, especially when you attach your own personal losses in remembrance. Yet another reminder of life’s fragile mystery. But I am inspired by Kobe's determination to squeeze everything he could out of every moment that he had. I am learning, whatever your religious understanding,
... this is what it means to walk by faith and not by sight.
Funerals at church tend to be more diverse than church services. As we attach our own personal pain and losses to the death of the genius basketball player, his daughter and friends, maybe we can emerge from this more determined to transform the vigils and rituals of remembrance into rituals of revolution toward a new Huemanity. Then we can set about the mission of saving our world.
I grieve and learn and live the lesson I often preach to the bereaved: that life is best measured not by length but by weight. I’ll use these tears as fuel, and the hurt as inspiration, to squeeze vitality out of this moment. Love, help, do justice, create, fulfill my God given purpose as part of the collective mission. Now, as LeBron put it, I'll “… put this shit on my back and keep it going.”
Thank you, Kobe ... and Mom and Dad and all those whose lessons keep speaking and teaching. Forward by faith… not by sight.
Photo Credit: From Kobe Bryant's Oscar Winning Short Film 'Dear Basketball,' screened as part of 'The Animation Show of Shows' (Kobe Inc. and Glen Keane Productions.)
If you enjoyed this reflection, you may also enjoy Jah Meets Jericho here.