Today I am taking a brief break from the Ten Perfections series to post something family-oriented. Tomorrow being Easter, I intend to observe the holiday along with my family. I have learned that I don’t necessarily have to participate in every Christian holy day (although I do particularly enjoy Christmas), but that my children appreciate it when I’m not too terribly aloof from it all, so this year I choose to include myself in everything from egg hunts and candy to family gatherings and church services.
Looking back, it would appear that I did very similarly last year.
In a general way, I really do like the family’s church. Everyone there seems to be fairly supportive of my wife and children and they don’t give me any “real” trouble when I visit. My wife maintains that most of them don’t know I’m Buddhist, but the point isn’t that most of them know or don’t know, it is that the Pastor and “active” members know (and I can say that with some level of certainty because I’ve talked with many of them about it on various occasions). Of course, only a very small subset of the total congregation counts as “active” to me, so I will admit that my point of view is skewed a little… but I digress. The point is that, in general, I feel reasonably welcome to be there in spite of the fact that one of the pastors has, on at least one occasion, made comments that I think unfairly represented the tenets of certain other religions (now that I think of it, this occasion that I’m remembering was at last year’s Easter service).
More importantly than the relative tolerance of the family’s church is the patience and tolerance of my family itself. My wife and children have been very supportive, even if occasionally that has been difficult, and the rest of the family has learned to be relatively tolerant also (even if outright support just isn’t really a possibility). Practicing as I have for over two years, I suppose I may have successfully shown my commitment to the path a bit by now, but moreover, I’ve maintained (and probably strengthened) my commitment to my family. In other words, I think the rest of the family has realized I’m not a devil worshiper or some other such nonsense by now…
So I make the effort to observe Easter and Christmas, and I choose to do this out of thankfulness and appreciation to them — and a sort of homage to the teachings and beliefs that make them such decent people. If only everyone who claimed to follow Christ’s teachings were so noble, the world would be a very different place for people of all creeds.
I hope you have a wonderful day, whether you celebrate Easter as a Holy day or just a family day (or not at all). May you and your family be well, friends.