Sunday, March 28, 2010

He Blessed Them

This is a repost from the archives... a reflection I wrote about eighteen months ago, on a personal retreat at the Shrine to Our Lady of Sorrows in Spartanburg, MO.


Today, I walked and prayed the Stations of the Cross. The Stations are carved into 6 foot tall concrete pillars, that rest on 2 foot high pedestals. They are arranged in a circle shape along the side of a hill. So, they just tower over my little 5 ft. 2 in. frame, especially the ones near the top of the hill.

It is unbelievably silent here. I so rarely hear the sounds of a car driving by on the main road. While I was praying the Stations, the only sounds I heard were the rustling wind in the trees, the tap-tap-tapping of two woodpeckers, and the crunching of my feet in the leaves on the path. As near to absolute stillness as I think is possible.

The eighth station stopped me in my tracks. Jesus meets the women and children of Jerusalem. I know this station. I've prayed it in word and in image many times. But I have never seen the eighth station as I did today. The image carved into this concrete pillar was one of Jesus paused, cross on his shoulders, and his right hand held up, blessing the women and children.

Jesus blessed the women and children.

While carrying the heavy cross, after having been beaten and ridiculed, after having fallen twice, after having looked his own dear mother in the eyes and seen her grief... at that moment, he paused to bless the women and children.

I tried to pray, to express some level of gratitude or acknowledgment of His love, and I couldn't. There were no words. I had no thoughts at all that could be expressed verbally, whether aloud or in my head. I just stood there. I struggled for words for a few minutes.

Finally, I gave up, and chose instead to try to express all that I was feeling in raw emotion instead. I tried to send God all of the love that I have for Him, knowing even while I was doing that, that it was nothing compared to the love He has for us.

I felt my immense insignificance.

I don't know how long I stood there, but I kept thinking the same thought: Jesus blessed them. In one of his darkest and most desolate moments here on earth, He stopped to bless others. He was putting others first, even then.

How often do I put others first, even in my best moments? Never mind my darker moments.

Is there really any way to express that in words?

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