Today, David walked the Way of the Cross. Marking each station in ways never before experienced he writes,
But then there was the fourth station, where Jesus meets his mother. The first street corner where the hustle and bustle of the city began to close in. The reading of the story and the prayers offered by the group were interrupted by trucks passing, and shopkeepers getting ready for their day. I noticed myself getting quieter and quieter, as it dawned on me that this was no private moment between a grieving mother and her dying child.
As they prepared to climb the stairs to continue along the Way, one of the group who had injured herself early in the trip, held onto David for support as they moved upward. David continues,
One member of our group carried a large wooden cross between each station and through the streets, passing it from one to another. I didn’t think much about it because my focus wasn’t there, until my companion reached out and took the cross in her arms as well. With one arm she carried it, this heavy rugged instrument of both destruction and salvation, and with the other arm she held on to me. I was terrified she’d trip or stumble. I was sure that I was going to lose my grip. But we took each step, one at a time, me holding on to her, and her holding on to me.
I have people in my life that I struggle deeply to carry, and those who I know struggle to carry me. There are relationships I’ve prayed for in this city and back at home, wanting desperately for God to intervene. And there I was – with almost a complete stranger – being formed by God’s cruciform way. Trusting, and leaning on, and giving of self – being ministered to by another disciple struggling on the Way.
The Gospel of John tells us that while hanging upon the rugged Cross, Jesus looked at his beloved disciple, and looked at his mother below, and gave them into each other’s care.
The Way of the Cross is our way of life. Here in Jerusalem, or anywhere.
You can follow David’s pilgrimage in the Holy Land on his Twitter and Instagram accounts (@fathergiff)