“It is to the Cross that the Christian is challenged to follow his Lord: no path of redemption can make a detour around it.”
― Hans Urs von Balthasar
|window detail - Rhug Chapel|
I did not come to ‘see’ this, Lord; standing ankle deep in the waste of the city, tears streaming silently down my face, my mouth full of blood as I bite down on my tongue to stop myself from crying out. For I do not want these others to know that I know you.
I don’t know you.
The fear, the demons, the hopelessness comes cawing back and you are not here to save me. The crowd shouts out to you ‘Save yourself’ and I truly believe that you could – even now, you could.
But there is some other purpose at work here. You have nothing left; and nothing left to prove; your light is too bright for them and they have closed their eyes against it.
What sort of plan was this? You had driven me here with the message of love and forgiveness. But who got the message? The plan has gone wrong. If not, how is it right? The meek were going to inherit but all I have is this hill, the town dump. Was this what I was supposed to see?
Then a sound, perhaps just a turn in the wind; ‘Abba’. That you still call Him this, now, when surely, if He were here, He could just reach down and lift you out of this. Under my breath, I begin to say the words, the prayer you taught me. And at the end, ‘deliver us from evil’ - if you are here Abba, take your Son –deliver him from the evil that we have all done this day.
The wind drops and this time I know it is your voice – ‘Father, into your hands’. The wind rises, hot and as sudden as a sirocco; and you are gone. And, at that moment, I know in my soul - there is no power on earth that can save; at the end, not even you.
Only the Father has that power, only the Father will bring us home.
Father, into your hands…
“Our father. We have killed him, and we will kill him again, and our world will kill him. And yet he is there. It is he who listens at the door. It is he who is coming. It is our father who is about to be born. Through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
― Frederick Buechner