Crosses….we carry them, we nail others to them, we fear them, we want to exchange them. Good Friday is a reminder about many things but for me, this year, I am thinking deeply about crosses, death and resurrection. Today, in my morning prayer time, I spent some time remembering other people who are carrying heavy crosses. I messaged one–an addict I know who I had not been in touch with for awhile. I told him I was praying for an Easter Resurrection for him and sent him hope and peace. He responded almost immediately with the news that he believed a bit of a miracle had happened for him and though he had not prayed in a long time, my message spurred him to promise to pray for me. That seemed like the hope of the Resurrection to me!
This Easter I am carrying a heavy cross. Friends can joke about trading crosses but in reality, we probably would end up keeping the one we are most familiar with. This year, I come to Calvary incredibly tired. I do not wish this cross upon anyone else. Yesterday at the Maundy Thursday service, a friend stopped by the pew I was in and hugged me. My mind flashed back to 2015 and telling her through tears that I was quite sick. I am still here and still grateful. I am beginning to feel that I am running out of time though. I cannot shake this odd sense but I am keeping my eyes on Sunday in this Friday state.
At the afternoon service, I snuck in and sat at the back of the church. In front of me was this darling little girl who was as precocious as one could be. She looked at me, cocked her head and raised her eyebrows, smiling brightly. I reciprocated and she thought that was hilarious. Her mom sneezed soon afterwards and I mouthed God bless your mom. She smiled. About five minutes later, I sneezed and she loudly said, God bless you! while everyone around us laughed. During the never-ending Gospel she announced that she was ready to go home now please. Her mother looked embarrassed but I leaned in and said, she’s not the only one. Her mom visibly relaxed. I was totally distracted during the service and sent up a wee prayer to God but the response seemed to be saying just to relax. Sometimes God wants us to pick up our crosses and sometimes God gives a chance for a rest from dragging them up the hill.
Looking back over my day, I smile in gratitude at the prayers offered by the man trying to get on the good path, the tiny one for pure joy, and for conversations with dear friends at the end of the day, amidst the songs of Mother Nature. Help to carry the cross comes in all forms and shapes. The last song of the prayer service tonight was the Taize tune, Jesus Remember Me. As all Taize songs, the words are simple but I always find this one soothes my soul: Jesus remember me, as you come into your Kingdom. Repeat….as often as possible. I long for that–to be remembered by my Saviour and welcomed Home when the time comes.
What cross are you carrying this Good Friday?
Do you see the hope of a resurrection coming?
Jesus, remember me, today. Help me as I wind through my Via Dolorosa, dragging my cross. I hope to be with you in Paradise one day. Until then, may my life continue to bring you glory. Amen.