A strange faith - that wears an instrument of torture around its neck. And celebrates a Feast Day in its honour.
The Crucifix of San Damiano (Assisi)
What is this?
A work of art rescued from an abandoned church by a madman?
A delight of medieval symbolism and Iconography?
What are you looking at?
The goldwork; the brushstrokes; the artistry; the form; the perfect proportion?
What am I looking at ?
I am looking at you.
Shrugging off the imagery and artifice
to stand before you naked, vulnerable, scarred, human.
Asking you to be with me- to be my body in a world that needs me –
and you say you are not worthy.
Look at me – I am the Christ
Born in the gutter, a refugee, an outcast.
Illegitimate, impoverished, faceless.
Do I remind you of anyone
Look at me – I am the Christ, the Son of the Living God
Abandoned by my friends, betrayed, denied.
Mocked, tormented, condemned by those I came to save.
Have you been here?
Look at me – I am the Christ, Son of the Living God, Saviour of the World
Tormented and abused, my blood running to water.
Wanting this to be over, wanting to die.
Have you known this?
And you say you are not worthy?
For this is the triumph of the Cross–
that that stake of wood on a charnel pile is my throne: my battle standard: my coat of arms:
that wherever you have been, wherever you go; no matter how dark or deep or terrible – I was there before, I was with you, I will be with you:
that I am the Christ, Son of the Living God, Saviour of the World and you are my people; faceless, sinners, outcasts; your unworthiness outmatched by my love for you – people of the Cross.