As I’m in Pamplona resting and nursing some physical ailments, I get to spend good Friday here.
I’ve been trying to do the daily offices from the Northumbria Community, who I’ve spent some time with on a silent retreat before starting the Camino.
On this good friday, there was a meditation in the offices today that really struck me:
“A Christian is one who points at Christ and says, ‘I can’t prove a thing, but there’s something about His eyes and His voice. There’s something about the way He carries His head, His hands, the way He carries His cross – the way He carries me.’”
It sucks to be hurting right now, I feel close to my mortality… But I was thinking about it- a fair amount of pilgrims are on the road because they have either encountered their own mortality with a near death experience or retirement… or they have experienced the mortality of someone dear to them. And for those of us young guns on the trail, we at some point encounter our own mortality with an injury of some sort…
The pilgrimage Jesus took though… He has indeed encountered mortality… Experiencing the pain and brokenness of human experience with the hope of revealing the deeper joy that God implanted in our being before the corruption of sin… But mortality hurts. “Father, if there is a way, take this cup from me…”. He could have given up. But he pressed on, for the joy set before Him.
I am on this pilgrimage… In hope that God would un-bury some of the hidden treasures within my soul that have been so hard to see because of my busy-ness and burnt out living… But a different kind of work lies in front of me to get to that place, and it’s damn painful to let God unearth the created goodness in me. Just as there is a long road ahead of me to Santiago… There is a long way to go on my heart. …And all I can do is to ask for mercy to take the next step, to do the next stage.
…because He didn’t give up in that garden. He pressed on. He faced death, and didn’t run from it and marched forward unto death, carrying my sin and it’s consequences, even if it tore at every fiber of his being; physically and spiritually. Because he kept walking forward… I will continue to walk. Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner. Thank you for carrying me, even if it cost you everything.
…and yes. That’s part of the “something” that keeps me clinging to Him, the look in His eyes, the way He calls me child, the way He carries me… Something grabbed hold of me, and continues to grip my heart no matter how angry or burnt out I have become. I keep holding on… But really, it isn’t me- it is He who took hold of me, even if it killed Him… And didn’t let go. It was He who, even if I keep running away- walks forward in love towards me, and won’t give up the pursuit, even if it is towards the cross.