Monday, April 14, 2014

May I Carry My Cross With You?

                “My God, my crucified yet resurrected Lord, I bow my head in tears envisioning Your holy Passion. I see You off in the distance amidst a huge crowd. I can only see the tip of Your head bowed down, adorned not with befitting jewels, but instead with a ring of thorns. I mostly see the heavy cross You carry among the sea of enraged people. I can’t hear anything distinct, just a loud universal angry cry of people who know not what they do. You slowly make Your way through the people – the same people You previously blessed and professed Your great love through Your gentle instruction of how to live an earthly life in preparation for an eternal heavenly life with You. Now they reject You, they hurt You, they mock You, they celebrate killing You. Though You could end all this in a blast of glory, You continue, still with great love in Your heart. You continue a path no man would welcome, with the purpose of fulfilling Your Father’s will to provide a way for all these same people to be united as one with You forever.
                “Oh Lord, as You carry this heavy cross, I feel the weight of my own cross and it suddenly doesn’t feel as heavy. It is not easy to carry, but it is just a piece of Yours. Together, as we carry these crosses, I pray that I can make Yours lighter and I thank You as You have made mine lighter. I turn to my side and I see my dear friends, my brothers and sisters carrying their crosses also with You and I pray that all together, the burden on You will be lighter as well as the burden on them. As I look to my right and to my left, I am comforted that I am not the only one suffering with You. I look up to Calvary and see the two thieves crucified with You. One mocks You, yet the other loves You and asks for mercy. I look to my right and to my left and I hear the same; several mock me for carrying my cross and several smile and say they love me and that we can make it together. We walk together, earnestly searching for a glimpse of You in the crowd, in the world, in the chaos, in the hate, in the indignation and in the indifference, both then and now.
“Oh dear Lord, may the people open their eyes and see You clearly. May their hearts be filled with compassion for You and for Your suffering people. May they willingly ask You for crosses. May their hearts be filled with the desire to carry whatever cross You send, no matter how heavy or light, for as long as You ask, all the way to Calvary with You, our burdens joined with You, our crosses all splinters of Yours. May we lay these crosses down at the foot of Yours and will You lead us all to the gates of heaven? Oh Lord, may I carry my cross with love as You carried Yours.”

Rejected Lover

                “Oh dear Lord, I cry out in pain and fall to my knees in anguish. How can any of us reject Your beautiful intense love? I feel Your pain at the rejection of Your beloved people - all Your people. I feel the deep stabbing pain in my heart of a person rejected by the one whom they are so deeply in love with. I am talking about the kind of love that consumes your entire being and makes every breath you take a labor because your heart is held paralyzed in anticipation of seeing that person. To be rejected by the one you love that much literally knocks the wind out of you and leaves you bleeding inside with a deep hole in your heart. Oh dear Jesus, I feel this pain in You at the rejection of Your people. And not just the obvious rejection of people who say there is no God or that they don’t need God in their lives, but also the more subtle rejection of those driven by pride to do their own will and not Yours. The pain You feel surges through me, even in response to those people who twist their good works or Your good graces into deformed damaged works for their own gain.
                “Oh Lord, You are the rejected lover who did nothing wrong; the one who continually gave His entire self for others and did everything out of love. Oh dear rejected lover, how can You pick Yourself up and continue Your walk to Calvary? Oh dear rejected lover, how can You lay Your life down, slowly, peacefully and painfully on the cross for those who refuse Your love? Oh dear rejected lover, every nail pounded through Your flesh cuts through my body and leaves me screaming out. Every single one of us has contributed and continues to contribute to each strike of the nails. Oh dear rejected lover, please have mercy on all of us, have mercy on me. I am so sorry for every rejection You have ever incurred and for every one that will occur in the future. How I long for the peace of eternity, when the nails will no longer be pounded into Your flesh and any rejection of love will cease to exist. No more pride, envy, vanity. Only love; deep love for others and most of all, the deep love for You will be the foundation and network of the eternal world. Everything and everyone will draw its very life and breath from that network of love. Oh dear rejected lover, I long for that future reconciliation for all Your people.”