Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday: Week 14 of Only One Thing

Today my thoughts are with Mary.

Mary, the mother of Christ, who sat at the feet of her son as a died on the cross.

I can't think of anything more painful than a mother watching her son die, completely helpless to end the pain or to thwart death.  This is unlike other moments in the gospel, when we are told to fall to our knees and pray and ask and we will receive and have faith and we will be healed. It is unlike the times when God asks us to go to our knees for deliverance. This is something else entirely. This is not a time when it seems there is a resolution to be had--this is not a time when the kingdom of God seems near nor when paradise is just a step away. It is not a time when it seems faith will make you well. It is a time when the price of sitting at Christ's feet is unbearable and unfathomable.

On the cross, it seems there is no deliverance from the darkness.

The hours when Mary watched her first born son die had to be the worst of her life. In the midst of pain, did Mary have faith? I am sure it is blasphemous to ask--but how could she? Could her mind have faith that it would all work out because her son, the son of God told her so, but her heart--her heart must have been doubting and broken and searing with the love for her child who was nailed to a cross dying for the sins of all mankind.

I imagine Mary must have asked herself a million times, Why my son? Why my son? For a mother, what God has planned for her children is not always the same as what she has planned for children. We wish to give our children beautiful lives with minimal suffering and joy that spills over. We want beauty. We want joy.

We do not want the cross.

I find Good Friday to be so deeply sad and impossible to write about. It is easy to rush to the end of the Easter story--right to resurrection. But if we do, we miss out on sitting at Christ's feet. And today, his feet happen to be nailed to the cross.

The scene at the foot of the cross and the pain that was in Mary's eyes makes me speechless, yet I cannot leave the scene. I cannot turn away. Today, Good Friday, is the day when we all must sit at Christ's feet--his feet as they bleed and ache and hang from the Cross.

It a day when sitting at Christ's feet means remembering the painful, horrific death he died for us. Today we sit with that pain. We mourn his body. We share in Mary's pain. We stay right here, with our own brokenness, with the brokenness of Christ's body, with the the brokenness of Mary's heart , with the brokenness of the world and know that it is done.

For on Sunday, Christ will rise. But for today, we sit at the feet of a dying man and remember how much his mother loved him and how much we love him, today and always.

Wonder what you've stumbled upon? Catch up on Only One Thing, the Bible Study for Bad Christians  here.

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