Social Distancing … While Carrying the Cross

The Lord GOD is my help,
therefore I am not disgraced;
I have set my face like flint,
knowing that I shall not be put to shame.

Isaiah 50:9

We would be driving in a well to do neighborhood, and my mother would say, absently, “Michael, there’s sadness behind those doors..”

I resisted the temptation to respond, “Really? Stop the car, and I’ll get out, and go up and knock on the front door and find out!”.=

When I was young, when something bad happened to someone, or they were struggling, her response was, usually, “Well, that’s their cross to bear…..

Is this current health event our “cross to bear”? The questions arise. Why would a loving God inflict such devastation on his children? Is it time to ask:

“My God, my God, Why have you abandoned me?” (Matthew 28)

The answer, to me, lies elsewhere within Matthew’s account of the Passion. Jesus has endured so much over nearly 48 hours, His human makeup was at its wits’ end. He knows He is to die. But, there is work to do not only prior to His death on the Cross, but after. Jesus, in death, opened the eyes of those who would do Him harm.

The centurion and the men with him who were keeping watch over Jesus
feared greatly when they saw the earthquake
and all that was happening, and they said,
“Truly, this was the Son of God!” (Matthew 28)

It strikes me that Jesus did not experience His passion, death, and resurrection alone. All of His final days and hours were in plain sight of everyone around Him, follower or foe. Before the Sanhedrin, Jesus pointed out  He had spoken directly to anyone who would hear His word. There were no secrets. Whether people chose to hear, be moved, and  follow was strictly up to them. Believe the Good News, or do not, it is your choice..but consider all those whom He touched, who spoke on His behalf. His word was, and is, in front of us each day. We listen for the “voice” that leads us, or we move along, alone.

Our crosses are our own. Right now, we walk with them at a greater distance than usual, but they are with us. Yet, the walk with the cross is not a solitary journey. We reach out to each other, pray for each other, laugh and cry with each other, and stand together, wherever we are,as we prepare for our place without any crosses, eternity with the Risen Lord!

Image: Jareed, Flickr.

Michael Throop