Thursday, April 13, 2017

Stillness at the Cross








  "Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'"
John 14:6 NIV
  








The way of life is a mystery to me. 
How is it that something long lost 
is suddenly revived and found beating again?
How is it that the dead brown leaves
make way for growth after the winter?


Oh, I know the scientific answers. But the heart of it all is still a mystery to me.  This morning I watched a Mama Robin in her nest building cycle. She was certain that the fluffy landscape netting, left-over from last year's patch of lawn seeding, would make fine nesting material. She tugged and pulled, and hopped and yanked, but the more she worked, the more tangled the strings became. Finally, after more patience than I would have shown, she gave up and left the knot lying in the yard.

I've faced those same kinds of knots. Have you? Those kinds that leave my weary mind reeling. Those kinds that stay knotted and twisted for years, even, as a situation refuses to be unraveled, and peace remains elusive.


During these last few weeks of journeying into a Lenten Stillness, as my heart has been leaning into a new kind of resting in Jesus, I've heard Him speak of a different way of unraveling.  He has come to bring us HIS life, but in so doing, He has entered into our very places of knotting pain. If you are part of the Faith Practice that observes the Stations of the Cross during Holy Week, then you will be very familiar with this Scripture Passage. I grew up in a Church that did not practice many of the old traditions, so these are new thoughts to me.  But my Online Bible Study Group has been reading through the book of Luke, and right there in my chapter for the day was the same verse that a friend had just spoken about from her Stations of the Cross journey:

Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children.


And my own heart wept. Jesus took upon himself all of my pain, and all of the pain of my children. He took all of your pain also.  Those knots that twist away in the muscles of your heart, leaving you gasping for air? He is right there, waiting to show you His love.  The problem is that we look away. 


We somehow grasp that 
He came to bring us Salvation from 
 OUR SINS.
But our pain
and our problems?
Well those 
must be unknotted
and solved 
by our own wits.


And just like Mama Robin,
we walk away
when the knots
are too strong,
and the web can't be
unwoven
by any effort of our own.


But Jesus came to help us face 
the pain,
to acknowledge the grieving,
and to finally find HIM here
loving us still
and 
rising again
with LIFE for us all.




These words were whispered into my heart, as I looked at the pain and the knots that remained in my own life this week. May they speak God's Love to you, as they spoke to me:


At the Cross

My daughter sit with me
here
grieve and wail
for the injustice
and pain
that my people
must bear.

My Body
was broken
for you, for them.
My heart
was torn open
as I carried
the cross.

But my people
can't see
how I've never
stopped loving
never stopped
giving
never stopped
seeing.

I see the wounds
they bear
I see the grief
they carry

I see the pain
you feel
I see the wounds
you bear.

The cross
Your cross
My cross
I swallowed up death
and I swallowed the pain
in the Love that I gave
for you
for them.

Sit with me here
Taste my mercy
and know
There is nothing
between us now.

                   --BG


May this song be a place of rest with Jesus for you:

 




I am linking this week with:






 

14 comments:

  1. Oh Betty, how I wish we were neighbors. Martin Luther said, "Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime." This week I was doing yard work and the tender buds swelling on the seemingly dead branches suddenly facinated me. How can people really believe that blind, unguided evolution accounts for the complexity in nature and in life itself. The blindness to the Plan saddens me sometimes. It makes me want to engage my neighbors in the conversation that there must be a Planner. I praise God that He has written it on our hearts to know Him. He is Risen indeed. Happy Easter, dear Sister.

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    1. Dear Debbie,
      Oh, wouldn't that be fun if we were neighbors! I would love to see your pink (red) roses! :-) Yes, how could we not feel the mystery that our Creator infuses in all the life growing around us? I know there are many things that I must still be blind to--how thankful I am also that He calls me to open my eyes and see the ways that He has written eternity on our hearts. Blessed Resurrection Sunday to you dear Sister! xo

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  2. So very thankful for this invitation to be quiet and remember the cross before hurrying into the joy of resurrection. Like you, I am not from a tradition that observes some of the more contemplative practices, and I always found Easter so jarring. Thanks be to God that Jesus is alive, but my heart is also grateful for the suffering He experienced, and I don't want to miss that on my way to the empty tomb!

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    1. Dear Michele,
      Yes, I think it's so good to learn from each other different aspects of the Faith that we may have missed in our own little niche. The Glory of the Cross makes the Resurrection so much more full when we pause to reflect on it all. I am so grateful for the ways He teaches us more about Himself! Blessed Easter Weekend to you my friend!

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  3. Oh, Bettie, these words:

    "Sit with me here
    Taste my mercy
    and know
    There is nothing
    between us now."

    They're such a beautiful invitation from the Lord. And they stir beauty within us too, in the way only reverent stillness can do. As we wait and ponder, absorb the sweet presence of the Lord, we sense our pain lifting and shifting a little, yielding to His Hope and Peace, His Joy and Rest. Bettie, your words on unravelling also tie in with a poem I hope to post on Easter Sunday. It's amazing how God often leads us down similar pathways! Thanks be to God for His glorious piecing together work in our fractured lives! So blessed to read this post and so honoured to eavesdrop on your conversations with the Lord. May you continue to be greatly blessed in your season of surrendered stillness and listening, dear friend! xoxo

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  4. Dear Joy,
    I am so thankful that these words here stirred your heart with beauty. I must confess that I shared this poem with a trembling heart, as it was so personal. But when God asks us to share what He's given to us, how can we refuse, especially when it's all about the amazing heart of HIS own that He's shared with us! I am eager to read your words about unravelling--it's such a confirmation in my heart when God leads us down similar pathways. His Spirit joins us together in marvelous ways. Blessings and Hugs and Love to you Dear Friend! xoxo

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  5. "The cross
    Your cross
    My cross
    I swallowed up death
    and I swallowed the pain
    in the Love that I gave
    for you
    for them."
    Oh, Bettie, this is so beautiful! Your words, your poem, so meaningful. In our Maundy Thursday service this truth was brought out. It was our cross, too, but Jesus took the pain and punishment for us and conquered death. How can we not praise him and love him with all of our being! Yet we fail so often, but he forgives. May we learn to love and trust him more and more. Thank you, dear Bettie, for this beautiful offering.

    Many blessings to you with love and hugs! xoxo

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    Replies
    1. Dear Gayl,
      I am so thankful that you were blessed here. As I replied to Joy, I shared this poem with much trembling as it was so very personal. But He blessed me so much as He whispered into my heart the mercy that He has given, and how could I not trust Him with the sharing just as I trust Him with the living? He does help and forgive so often. Thank you for your encouragement dear friend. May you be blessed this Easter Weekend! Love and Hugs! xoxo

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  6. Lovely thoughts - I like your robin finally giving up and how we should leave our tangled mess and begin anew. Thank you for your sweet comments on my post about my husband going to heaven. Your poem is awesome.

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    1. Dear Hazel,
      I am thankful that these words touched your heart here. My prayers are with you today, as you are missing your husband. May this day of Resurrection bring great comfort and hope to you my Sister!

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  7. Always contemplative at BettieG's!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Susan,
      That is such a sweet compliment! I'm so thankful for the Rest He gives us! :-)

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  8. Betty - It is so very important that we don't rush forward to the joy of Sunday morning. I have to admit, sometimes I am guilty of rushing past the stillness of the cross and all that happened there - not that I forget or don't know, just that the push to get to Sunday has been more of the focus.. but not this year - this year, God intentionally drew me in and had be focus and be still at the cross... such a powerful thing. Thanks for linking up with me at #TuneInThursday last week, I sure hope to see you again this week

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    Replies
    1. Dear Debbie,
      I am so thankful that our Lord calls us to Himself, and asks us to be still with Him. I loved the journey that He led you on this year, your story was so powerful! He does know how to draw us in, and meet us right where we need Him most, doesn't He? Thanks for offering your great link-up! I feel honored to be a part of it! Blessings to you!

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