I am here Jesus, below the cross, silent as my nakedness crawls from its shadow. I struggle to stand with You, so vulnerable and exposed. My heart searches your eyes, their lids soft and moist, holding mercies of forgiveness in a relaxed awareness beyond space and time. A slow tireless release of tears languish on your cheekbone, stopping to reflect on a life lived amid its wonder and chaos; a life called to create a new path; one leading You to the arms of Your Father. I wonder if you truly believe that now, if that faith is at all unnerved by the betrayals and abandonment, as mine would be. I look more closely. Your tears do not judge my wandering thoughts, they move forward, committed, quietly hydrating the essence of humanity before dropping and dispersing onto the parched ground; evaporating across the world, a world clumsy in its embrace of one another, ambivalent to the truth, fearful of the moments that unfold.
“What is it You see, Lord? “
I close my eyes and look inward knowing full well my complicity – my victimization of brokenness added to the trajectory of suffering in this world, my failed stewardship of gifts; a repressed anger with addictive legacies, raised in and clung to; closeted denial, even shame for what I knowingly perpetrated in my life and most painful, the belief that You had abandoned me, that I did not matter. I was a skeptic as my suffering unfolded, rebellious, arrogant and, like your disciple Peter, I denied my truth, denied You.
“Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” (Luke23: 34)
I am startled by the cry. My eyes open as the veins in your neck morph into unscathed hands reaching beyond the body that hold them. I strain upwards but can only touch the shriveled skin hanging from a single iron nail, a nail perforating the unnamed covenant You hold with God, a penetration intended to erase the ground You crisscrossed one village, one person at a time. I fold my hands gently over the nail in an effort to shelter your feet and perhaps reconcile my heart with this cry of love and forgiveness. I shiver, the compassion palpable, a love I sense yet hesitate to fully inhabit. I waver. The effort to stay hopeful threatens this vulnerability and its ability to stay present. In desperation I try to remember what it is You spoke when you did not speak at all.
“ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1)
A draft of light flashes across your chest. I feel enlightened, lifted as a sense of peace freshens the air. Your breathing is subtle, undisturbed as if your Presence is here and elsewhere at the same moment. I look up and see your tears have stopped, the lids relaxed. I feel safe. I watch, listen and without thought join the quiet cadence of breaths You inhale then exhale. Our breathing unfolds as one and stops.
An omnipresent grace engulfs my soul, a presence beyond words, beyond wonder, beyond the boundaries of humanity speaks its silence.
This is love