NYC’s Beating Heart: Easter 2020

Quarantine Day 28. NYC

There is a place in my apartment, where if you position yourself just right, you can see the Empire State Building. Living downtown, there’s a maze of buildings between here and there, but if you sit just so, you can see it. And at night, it’s particularly spectacular, lit up in all it’s NYC glory.

It’s a bit of an icon of New York City, isn’t it? The most notable skyscraper in the Manhattan skyline. Piercing the sky with its imposing needle.

And every night, it’s lit up in a different color or colors. Always with a meaning. Pink for breast cancer. Blue and orange for the Knicks. Green and red for Christmas. Each night, something different.

Well, for the past couple weeks, since NYC has been battling COVID19, the building has been lit up in all red – with a pulse – that of a heartbeat. Signifying the heartbeat of NYC, and honoring the medical professionals and first responders, who are on the front lines of the battle.

It is simulataneously beautiful and haunting. The entire city is locked away, and the icon of NYC — what we’re all looking to out our collective holding cells — is the heartbeat. Beating on. Shining high above the city, reminding us that we’re all in this together, we’re all beating as one, and have hope in that unity.

It’s hard to believe that Easter weekend is upon us.

I was supposed to be in Cincinnati, celebrating with my family – painting eggs with my nieces, cooking up a beautiful brunch, cherishing togetherness and celebrating our risen Lord.

But instead, I’m quarantined in NYC with a pathetic “Happy Easter” candle I found on the clearance section of the Bed Bath and Beyond website as I was scouring for hand soap and paper products.

And not just me. Every single one of us is in a peculiar situation this Easter. We’re all away from loved ones. Prohibited from attending worship services.

And all grappling with the question: what is Easter without Church?

I was thinking about that just last night. I was sitting in the spot in my apartment, look at pulsing red Empire State Building, and that’s when it hit me:

Easter this year is going back to just that: the heartbeat.

The heartbeat of Christianity: the crux of our faith. The fundamental core that gives us life: Jesus.

This Easter, as many of us, like myself, find ourselves quarantined alone, or with just their nuclear loved ones, it’s up to us to make Easter “happen.” We’ve got to bring it back to our lifeline – our heartbeat: Jesus on the Cross.

The cross that, like the Empire State Building, is the shining over all the earth, pulsing in His crimson red — His blood shed for you and me — for us to look to in this time of trial. Reminding us that we’re all one family of believers. Reminding us of the hope we have in Him. And reminding us of His victory.

Now, more than ever, we need a victor, and Christ is just that. Triumphing over death. Over fear. Over isolation. Over despair. Over anxiety. Over loneliness.

Jesus conquered the grave. And this year, as we celebrate His resurrection from the confines of our quarantines, He is our collective heartbeat — as the risen Lord, alive again. His resurrection, without which, there would be no hope. Be no faith. Be no Christianity. It is the beating heart of our faith.

I pray that this Easter, we are all drawn closer than ever to His heart. That we can strip away the [albeit beautiful and meaningful] traditions and extra fluff — strip away the bunnies, the candy, the stressful entertaining obligations, the family photos, etc. — and just sit at the foot of the Cross. May we bring it back to His heartbeat.

May we be with Jesus as His heartbeat ceases on Good Friday. And then triumphantly returns Easter Sunday.

We’re all in this together. We may be physically apart, but our spirits are united as one: in Jesus.

May we all look to His pulsing heart, shining during this dark night, and remind us of the hope we have in Him, together as one body of Christ.

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160 thoughts on “NYC’s Beating Heart: Easter 2020

  1. Wow, that is a great message. Touched me deeply. Easter has long been my favorite time of year, and you are right…. it’s up to us to celebrate it.

    1. Thank you so much! i’m so glad it resonated with you! yes! it’s up to us! Hugs and love xox stay well x

    1. Thank you Niki, I appreciate that 🙂 hope you’re staying well Hugs and love xox

    1. thank you friend, I hope you have a beautiful Easter as well! stay safe! Hugs and love xox

  2. The first photo says it all. Living in the city although not as hot as NYC, I am very familiar with being quarantined feels like. Hang in there.

    1. thank you so much Jack – Yeah, it’s a wild season to be alive. stay well! Hugs and love xox

    1. thank you so much Nabeela!! it’s a great place 🙂 stay well! Hugs and love xox

  3. We can all take something very important from this tragedy – The church is not a building. Collectively all believers make up the body of Christ, His church. Jesus is more concerned about our hearts being in the right place this Easter and that really has little to do with them being inside a physical sanctuary. He is Risen! Be joyful!

    1. Thanks Rollie – you’re so right about this – we are the Body of Christ! Yes! There’s much to rejoice this Sunday. stay well! Hugs and love xox

  4. This is the time to celebration the life and resurrection of Jesus. He triumphed over the enemy of our souls and got back the keys to life and death, along with the title deed of the earth. What looked like a tragedy, turned into Sunday morning and the resurrection! Death, disease and sin were all defeated. Hallelujah! Enjoy the celebration! Nothing can separate us from the wonderful love of God, through Christ Jesus. Neither life nor death, powers of darkness, quarantine, coronavirus, things present or to come, can separate us from the wonderful love of God! Sunday and the resurrection is here! Hugs and love!

    1. you’re so right about that! it is more important and poignant than ever! Sunday will be a powerful day. have a beautiful easter! stay well! Hugs and love xox

    1. thank you Lesley! yes it really is! have a beautiful Easter! stay well! Hugs and love xox

    1. thank you so much! yes – that scene in Gethsemane is one of the most powerful moments in the bibile. stay well! Hugs and love xox

  5. Holy Thursday has been a little lonesome feeling for me. One of my favorite Masses. I cannot wait to get back to the Eucharist
    How was the storm up there is it over. Thought about u and prayed for you when I saw it. Love you more. SR

    1. Thanks SR. I’m sorry that it’s been lonesome. yeah, wild storm today. nothing like in the midwest though! stay well and happy easter! Hugs and love xox

  6. Praying for you and for NYC, one of my favourite cities on the planet. Hope all is well with you and that conditions improve for your city and country soon. Allan

    1. thank you so much Allan, yeah it is such a surreal easter. stay well my friend. hope you have a beautiful easter weekend. Hugs and love xox

      1. 🙂🙂🙂🙂 and I get to enjoy the still congested streets of DC this day while you enjoy empty streets with your bare feet on the coffee table.

  7. Was Jesus a Christian, we know he has born a Jew.
    Well I was born a Christian but I am not a believer in the necesity of the death of Christ from having been nailed to a cross.
    It was the world of man that nailed Christ to the Cross not the word of God.
    Imagine if you will the legacy over the last 2000 years if Christ had lived to his death by old age and had had a family and children and his children had had children.
    Would that be blasphmy to you, to God to the laws of man and God?
    I think not. to celebrate death is not healthy. So to celebrate death under a blood stained cross is also not good in my opionion.
    Back in the day I too could have been executed for blaspamy, hell I still might be shot, hurt or killed for my views.
    Though if that is the will of God as was the life and death of Christ them although I disagree I will do my Gods bidding.
    God bless us all everyone.
    P.S. I am a huge fan of your work.
    Huw

    1. Hi Huw, I appreciate you sharing your thoughts on this. I respect your beliefs, though they differ from mine. In my view of Easter, I am celebrating the triumph over death in His ressurection, not His death. I mourn His death. That is what Good Friday is – it is a solemn, sorrowful day of grief. But it was necessary for Him to have risen. I appreciate you stopping by and sharing your heart. I hope you’re staying well during this crisis! Hugs and love xox

      1. I understand your view but agree to disagree. Your Gods book of the new testrment and Armageddon are truths that need not come to pass. But then only time will tell.

        Thank you for taking time to express your perspective and for listening to mine.

        Mind how you go Huwx

      2. Absolutely 🙂 I think mutual respect is a beautiful thing 💛💛💛

  8. My son and I plan to have our own Sunrise Service this Easter Sunday in our backyard beneath the ancient oaks. I agree that we are not celebrating death but rather Christ’s triumph over it. Easter is about hope. Easter is about conquering sorrow. Easter is about absolute love that God has for all of humanity. I will be honest, I do not completely understand it from a logical perspective, but God’s existence transcends all human understanding. I only know that in my darkest hours I felt the presence of My Lord Jesus in my soul. I know he lives. He has given me hope-hope and a purpose. That is what Easter is about to me. When the sunrises Easter Sunday it will be a reminder of Christ’s promise. He conquered death and sorrow. We believers are the church. Of course, being in community with others is preferable but God is present wherever we gather to praise him. May God bless you and keep you and strengthen you always. Thank you so much for your blog.

    1. Oh wow that is so beautiful Jenny! What a special moment to share with your son. Amen to that – He lives! Thank you for your prayers and kind words! Know that you’re in mine too! Big hugs xox

      1. Thank you for your prayers, as well. I pray without ceasing. The Lord is with us. At night before going to sleep I remind myself to read Psalm 46. God is our shelter and strength. Our faith we get us through all of this we are going through right now. You’re in my prayers. Stay strong in Our Lord.

      2. Absolutely 🙂 amen! Our shelter and strength!!! Thanks again x

    1. Thank you friend 🙂 I appreciate that. Hope you’re having a beautiful day. Hugs and love xox stay well x

  9. Amen and amen! Jesus is our source of peace, love and understanding through all of this! It can be challenging because of what we see or even how we feel but Romans 8:37-39 “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Nothing can separate us from the love of God. God bless you and your family!

    1. Yes He really is!! And i love that truth – absolutely nothing can separate us from His love!! You too! Stay well! Hugs and love xox

  10. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-52229417
    Some really heart warming views from the head of your church.

    ‘Nature never forgives’
    In an interview with The Tablet, the Pope said humanity must draw lessons from the Covid-19 crisis, calling it a time to reconnect with nature.

    “Let us not file it away and go back to where we were. This is the time to take the decisive step, to move from using and misusing nature to contemplating it,” he said.

    He cited a Spanish expression: “God always forgives, we forgive sometimes, but nature never forgives”, and lamented the devastating wildfires in Australia and melting of polar ice attributed to global warming.

    He also condemned the “hypocrisy” of certain politicians – not named – who spoke about tackling the pandemic and hunger in the world, “but who in the meantime manufacture weapons”.

    On a more positive note, he praised “the saints who live next door” – people like medics, volunteers and priests who were serving the community, to keep society functioning.

    1. Awesome, thanks for passing on that article. And I love that – our medical professionals really are the saints next door!!!

  11. If we give this difficult time to Jesus and draw close to him. wonderful things can come out of our experience such as growing closer to Jesus and our faith being strengthened. Prayed for you little sister.

    Oh and by the way you are still so cute even in quarantine 🙂

    1. Thanks for sharing my blog!! I appreciate that. And thank you so much for your prayers. You’re so right – now is the time to draw close to Jesus. Stay well my friend. Know you’re in my prayers too! Hugs and love xox

  12. Happy Holy Thursday, and Happy Easter. May there be chocolate for you. BBB, your Bed Bath and Beyond candles aren’t pathetic!

    You moved me Monday night because when I joined with your readers, you tactfully and thoughtfully wrote that you make prayers, as you have said here again tonight. I wondered if my lowly self deserves all that because there are certainly others who merit a prayer or two. I thought about second whether I was anticipating gloom or disease, yet contemplated that you appeal to God and that the discussion has been obscured by the emergency, of which America is the focal point.

    I wish you could be happier. I know the crisis is completely discouraging in its own right, but all the more so for you, because you are kept away from your family, and you are kept away from the church services. I want for you to get through this ordeal intact, and I think you must try to appreciate celebrating the Resurrection in the town that should be proud to call you it’s own.

    You are a blogger who conquered obstructions to be simply the eloquent lady she is at present. While now is naturally a challenging time, and I know it is for everyone around the Earth, you certainly have the right idea. I wish I could write a blog post within sight of the Empire State Building, as it is one of the symbols of your nation that is impossible not to set a person feeling inspired by the sight of it.

    1. Same to you Odell! Haha and chocolate for you as well!! Yes! I am always praying for my readers! I consider them friends 🙂 and a great blessing at that. Thank you for your kind words. You are so wonderful. Grateful for you. Stay well my friend. Hugs and love xox

  13. As I read this a terrible thought occurred. This disaster in especially insidious, and I truly think it’s a thing of Satan’s making. Satan is the father of lies and all that is bad in the world, but he’s outdone himself this time. Why do I think that?

    People flocked to churches when 9/11 happened. Yes, they fell away after a few months and attendance went back to normal. This time there are no churches to go to, no community of believers to join for even temporary comfort. No possibility of even a temporary spike in attendance. Without churches to attend and priests and pastors to listen to hope seems to have been squelched. People are already saying we’ll never get back to how things were pre-covid19. The fallout of new social habits may well stick, and handshakes and hugs will be rare.

    Which all makes your message tonight even more important. Christ’s heart still beats after 2000 years, but how can we hear it when we can’t join together to listen for it? How can we be cured when our spiritual hospitals are closed? People of faith have prayer and hope, but what about those who still search and now even more desperately?

    It’ll come from messages like yours tonight. I’m sure not all your readers are of faith, so your message reaches those people. I’m not sure what the answer is other than we Christians need to not only find that heartbeat for ourselves but BE the heartbeat for those around us.

    Thanks for a great message!

    1. America is a huge example to the inginuity of man, lest we forget those who came before. Tread softly for you tread on somones hopes fears and dreams?

    2. Oh gosh Jeff, this is a truly frightening thought! And you’re so right – the enemy has us in isolation, where he does his “best work.” It is a harrowing thought. Amen – we’ve got to put on our stethoscopes 😉 but for real – thank you Jeff. Amen – we must BE the heartbeat!! Stay well my friend. Hugs to you and yours. Xox

    1. Thanks friend – yeah it is truly quite a surreal existence right now. Praying for y’all. Hugs and love xox

    1. Thank you Paula!! Same to you! Hope you’re having a beautiful (albeit quite unusual) Holy Week! Hugs and love xox

  14. Beautiful post! You are quite an amazing person! I remember discovering you two years ago through a wonderful post by a talented writer by the name of Valentines Fall. You have been informing, and enchanting, and uplifting your readers for so long now! Thank you for sharing the goodness of your heart! God Bless!☀️

    1. Thank you so much!! Oh my gosh you’re too sweet. I love Valentines Fall! Great friend 🙂 stay well!! Hugs and love xox

      1. You bet! Valentine’s Fall ..yes, he wrote a wonderful fewines about you back when. I never forgot it! I thought that was the kind of thing ever. He is a mighty Talent. I don’t know what is hit the like button but I do read when I have time. Be well try not to climb the walls during isolation! I will always remember the red pulsing light! Wow! Thank you for sharing so many words from your beautiful heart and mind for all who read your work! ☀️😇

      2. Hugs and love to you as well to carry you through these very troubling times. We’re losing so many people around the world aren’t we!? It is almost too hard to bear the thought, and all the loved ones left behind without the proper goodbyes and hugs and kisses!! ☹️

    1. Aw thank you!! Gosh what a kind thing to say!! Same to you. – hope you have blessed holy weekend! Stay well. Hugs and love xox

  15. Good word for this Easter weekend, with all of us sequestered in our homes, whether urban or rural. Christ is the heartbeat- of our collective faith, but also of personal walks with Him. May we each worship Him in Spirit and truth.
    God bless ya, from rural Dacula, Georgia.

    1. Thank you so much Rob! Amen! He really is our heartbeat! Stay well my friend! Hugs and love xox

    2. Oh Dacula! I have some friends that live there. I visited them at the start of December, it’s a nice area. I would take my Korean friend to attend a Church in Suwanee a few Sundays. We attend Truett-McConnell University in Cleveland Georgia and Suwanee and Duluth were the closest cities with a large Korean population.

    1. thank you so much 🙂 stay well, and have a blessed Easter weekend! Hugs and love xox

  16. Hi there,

    Wow, I love that spot in your apartment. How is quarantine going on in your area. May God always bless you and your family all throughout this pandemic.

    By the way, I made a challenge to myself to hop and comment to at least 10 blogs daily for 21 days. Your blog is one of those I have chosen to visit. I will be putting your blog link on mine. Feel free to visit anytime you like. You may also leave your footprint by giving a comment.

    1. aw thank you so much Vanessa! and wow! i’m honored i’d be one of the blogs on your list! what a fun thing to do! stay well! Hugs and love xox

    1. thank you Jim. i know i think it’s a really morale boosting thing! stay well! Hugs and love xox

  17. AMEN, in spite of the lockdown, those in Christ will not be alone. He will give us the hope, to conquer whatever comes our way.

    1. thank you friend – you’re so right – He gives us hope! stay well! Hugs and love xox

  18. Such a great post! Perhaps Gods allowed this crisis to get our attention…to help us realise we are not self sufficient. We need him. Bless you over this Easter weekend. And stay safe.

    1. thank you so much! that’s a really profound thought! thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

    1. thank you Terese! amen – He is our collective heartbeat:) have a blessed easter weekend! Hugs and love xox

    1. thank you so much Kandy! yes! back to His love!!! stay well and have a blessed easter weekend! Hugs and love xox

  19. I love how you wrote about the crux of our faith being the cross and Christ’s resurrection defeating sin and death. It truly is the heartbeat of our faith. I’m reminded of what Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15. It’s a whole chapter dedicated to defending the Sacrifice of Christ and His resurrection being Truth. In two verses he summarizes the Gospel.

    “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)

    Continue pointing people to the Cross and Praise be to our Risen King!

    1. thank you so much Travis! Yes! He is the hearbeat of our faith! happy easter! Hugs and love xox

  20. May your Good Friday of solitude bring peace. Yes, I had a vacation to visit my parents in California arranged for next week. But, I redeemed my frequent flyer miles a few weeks ago anticipating a rescheduling. As you may recall, I work in health care, though usually in out-patient therapy clinics. However, those are dwindling down as we go to telehealth, or many of clients should not be coming out now. We are mostly reassigned to work in the hospital (which I used to do, thus a familiar place). Our health system has benefitted from the learning curve in NYC. Thus, many of us are providing support roles for the RN’s, Tech’s, RT’s, and MD’s whom the Covid19 patients need right now. Rather than being miffed about Easter being upside down now, I see our role of serving others as even more valuable. Jesus’ message was always about healing. I’ll be in PPE from 3 – 11 tomorrow. The son will rise on Easter. Peace. – Oscar

  21. I was glad of this update on how things are with you, Caralyn!

    (Seems sad that churches no longer act as places of refuge or prayer, through a crisis.
    In past times, and during even more dangerous epidemics, they stayed open.
    Given a little consideration, would there be any great problem maintaining safe distancing?)

  22. Love this so much! Exactly what has been on my heart and what so many need to hear and be reminded of! Blessings to you this Easter!

    1. thank you so much!!! so glad this resonated with your heart, Deeds! happy easter! Hugs and love xox

  23. You wrote “a pathetic “Happy Easter” candle I found…” “Pathetic” until you made it into your personal NYC Sanctus light shining for any to see where the body and blood of Christ is held in reserve, even though temporarily cloistered by COVID-19.
    Pax,
    jbt

    1. You’re right about that! i’ve got it lit right now! and it actually made my online church service really meaningful and special 🙂 thank you for reminding me of that! great perspective! happy happy easter! Hugs and love xox

  24. Thank you for your thoughts. Perhaps this year, many get to focus on the meaning of Easter and be real with themselves about where they stand with Christ as you have been doing. As for the “pathetic” candle, maybe. Yet, is seems to help direct your thoughts to consider something deeper. Maybe?

    1. thanks so much Eric — You’re so right about that – the candle (which is lit right now) actually made my online church service really special and meaningful 🙂 happy easter my friend. Hugs and love xox

    1. thank you so much Vats! Happy easter! i look forward to reading your piece. Hugs and love xox

  25. Corona has forced people to slow down, and most don’t like it. Isn’t it amazing how so many claiming the peace of God can’t slow down to hear God? Hhmmm. Three years ago I became aware that our early church fathers still practiced a form of Passover and Lord’s Supper. I’ve been doing it ever since. It’s a beautiful thing. My Easter is just as rich as ever because of this three and a half thousand year old practice, that happens right in your own home. It’s amazing. I tell people all the time, but this year is the first that a few, very few, have actually listened. So sad. I hope we wake up, but my gut says we’re going to do even worse. Everyone please, please PROVE ME WRONG. I will be so happy! It is my prayer!

    1. You’re so right about that. The slow down has actually been quite nice. Stay well and happy easter! Hugs and love xox

    1. happy easter Lisa!!! hope you are and yours are having a special day! Hugs and love xox

  26. Great post and so important! Will link to this one! I’m writing too about the importance of light in general (the light of faith or sunlight now with Covid19) . We are thinking of everyone around the 🌎. Eastern Orthodox use a different calendar and our Easter is this week. Happy Easter to all!!

  27. Caralyn, your witness reinforces this Easter brings us hope, even more so this time around. I appreciate the strength of New York’s perseverance, and the Empire State Building salutes it. My prayers continue to cover everyone; we walk together with each other.

    1. oh gosh thank you so much! i’m so glad this resonated with you! thank you for your prayers – amen! Hugs and love xox

    1. Hi Jill! oh thank you so much 🙂 I really appreciate that encouragement! Hugs and love xox

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