Friday, July 1, 2011
Weeping, Panic and Fear
And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus. And there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him. But turning to them Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?” Luke 23:26-31
It is hard not to be anxious. I don't care who you are, when the world is all out of sorts and the way ahead is not clear, it is normal to be anxious. When the skies darken and the weather changes abruptly, even my dog crawls under the bed with fear and trembling. When the thunder rumbles, a once fierce beast turns into a cowering baby. It is like that with all of us. In the face of extreme hardship, we humans tend to buckle under and regress.
Jesus is facing his final living moments and the crowd of women that come with him to the cross are in full blown panic. Anyone would be. They knew death was imminent, and their beloved friend and teacher was going away for ever. They feared the loss and the hole that would never be filled. Jesus understood their pain and ache. And yet, he also warned them that days were coming that would be worse than these even. And despite it all God was with them and with him. Easter morning came. After terrible travail, light and life returned.
Today, I want to rejoice in the days ahead, knowing that no matter how unsure and unsettling they might be, these days are in God's hands. The night's darkness will be but for time. May we all rejoice that despite the worst trials and tribulations, we need no panic and give in to fear. God has lived through our fear and will bring us all to the other side.