By Flynn Bush
For the last seven years, I have had the distinct privilege to write an article on the significance of, and the customs involved in, Easter in the Cayman Islands. Now, once again, that time of the year has rolled around. Yet, this year there is quite a different atmosphere. Life is significantly different from what we have grown accustomed to. Categorically, the reasons can be summed up with one word - coronavirus.
With this being Holy Week now, there would normally be certain activities going on. Tents and campsites would already be setup on the beaches and shorelines across the islands. Church services would be taking place or prepared for (Palm Sunday, Holy Monday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, etc.). Families would be preparing for special meals and large get-togethers. However, none of those things are happening now. At least not in the same manner.
This year as we face an unexpected pandemic, our very outlook on life has changed; significantly for many of us. Now, staying away from our elderly parents and other loved ones is an act of love. Children can no longer play with their friends. While outside, it is necessary to ensure that we don’t even cross too closely to other people. In an instant, many of the things that make us human are gone or impossible; there is zero or little physical contact. However, in the midst of everything, the significance of Easter has not changed.
Let me repeat that again - The significance of Easter has not changed. We may be unable to attend church or to gather in a group for worship, but it does not change the facts surrounding why this Holy Week is celebrated in the first place. God still sent His son, and Jesus still chose to die for our redemption, and He still rose from the dead conquering even death in the process. Regardless of one’s beliefs, or even if one does not believe at all, Easter is still a story of hope; and hope is a valuable commodity in these uncertain times.
Without banging the drum repeatedly on my point of faith, I would like to invite every person in these three islands to pause for a second and meditate on our current situation. Yes, things are extremely dicey, and we must be very cautious nowadays. Still, I ask that each person also think about the other times in history where everything seemed bleak. In even the worst of cases, World Wars One and Two come to mind, the times of despair were always followed by renewing periods of hope. There is that word again - hope. It is what will keep us afloat in this crisis, and it is what will bring us through it.
So, regardless of what one’s hope is based upon, I ask that everyone draw on it. Your hope may be based on science; or the essential workers (health workers, first responders, researchers, doctors, etc.); or the government; or in your spirituality and faith. Regardless of what it is that fortifies you, my prayer is that everyone in this great nation of ours retains that strength. May our hope remain always.