Friday, March 21, 2008

Friday: Day of The Cross-Suffering

In the her book "No Ordinary Home", Carol Brazo has a chapter on special things that her and her family do during Holy Week. Here is an excerpt from that chapter on Good Friday:

" I had been struck all spring by the holes in the hands of Jesus. Holes in His hands. Holes in His feet. A gaping hole in His side. Holes in the one person who was whole. Those holes, those punctures in the Holy One, were made to match the holes in my soul, in my psyche, in my body and spirit. The holes that left me crippled were healed by the holes meant to cripple Him who knew no holes. And so I came to view the cross, not as an instrument of torture, but as an instrument of healing.

Each of us, from oldest to youngest(my four year old), took a piece of paper and listed our holes. We catalogued those places inside us that knew sin intimately, places where wholeness was not known. And then we left the comfort and beauty of John and Wendy's living room and went out to the carport.

There on the ground was an old, ugly, blood-smeared, eight-foot cross. A crown of thorns desecrated its "head". Large railroad spikes violated the "hands and feet." And there, to the side, was a hammer and a can of nails. In small family groups we took our list of sins, our catalogue of holes, and nailed them to the healing place. Small children nailed easily and seemed completely finished. Adults flinched with the sound and found it less accessible. Yet each of us sought healing in that place, and He who had suffered on those boards came and walked among us, touching this one and that one with hands that bore holes.

Communion followed. The bread and the cup were taken at the foot of that killing device, now littered with slips of sin.

It was GOOD FRIDAY. A small white sheet of paper bearing the stains of my humanity was left at the cross in the carport. Belonging to the race that yelled "Crucify Him," I am set on a path that leads to life. Set there by the One we crucified. Healed by His wholeness.