Good Friday Reflections
Good Friday Reflections
What message of life does the ‘Way of the Cross’ offer for thoughtful modern day pilgrims, of any culture or tradition?
Why does this annual journey from death into life continue to bear witness in the depths of my soul?
I set out this year into the season of Lent with an intention of searching for answers to these questions. Simply, I sensed I was being called to walk out into the wilderness with two guides. Jesus holding one hand and Earth the other. I must say that initially Earth felt a lot more alive during these weeks; this ‘son of man’ figure more like a historic, loving sage than the ever present friend of former days. Still, my soul remained open, searching for renewed meaning in this life-long journey of faith.
This discipline of wilderness walking has been tried and true, solid ground in most faith traditions. Silence, solitude, stripping away the superfluous, delving into the shadows of soul, listening deeper – all of this brings us more closely attuned to the earth of our being, to being more fully human, fully natural. Most of the time we don’t choose this path but it chooses us. This season has convinced me even more that if we are willing to bear the stark vulnerability of the clarity this awareness reveals, then an even deeper sense of connection comes with All that is. Choosing to be all that we are, despite the pride, fear and shame, moves us into fresh connection in relationship within our own selves as well as with all of Earth’s beings, human and non-human.
Today, I’m particularly struck by the image of Pope Francis boldly kneeling down and washing and kissing the feet of Muslim, women prisoners. What a ray of hope this brings. It feels like a part of the Great Turning. When a traditional authority flagrantly refuses the trappings of power, and honors the unique sacred quality of the poor and the suffering, then we see Jesus in action. Joanna Macy’s recent book, Active Hope – how to face the mess we are in without going crazy, speaks to this way of life that turns upside down the ways of consumerism, power, and violence. The journey for us modern day pilgrims is to define our place in this web of life that offers each of us freedom and dignity to live out all of our birthright gifts; for each of us and for this our Earth, our family home that is so threatened.
I am recognizing afresh today that the brokenness of the cross, which was both forced on and chosen by this unique son of man two thousand years ago, offers us even today a key to the upside-down ‘kingdom of God.’ This is a system of both individual and communal power where each conscious step reveals our inner vulnerability, our brokenness, and moves us and this planet toward becoming the change we seek. It is through intention, and a re-alignment with our own life-force compasses that we can move though the confusing complexity of our modern world. We can then know the guiding, loving hands of both Earth Mother, and the energizing wisdom of God, Oneness, Allah, Spirit – however we name that name of Life beyond the visible.
Ring the bells that still can ring,
Forget your perfect offering.
There is crack in everything,
That’s how the light gets in.
Leonard Cohen’s signature Anthem, viscerally depicts broken systems of power, government, and broken people, and yet in one clear refrain offers the hope of life beyond the darkness of despair. It is my choice in this life to keep creatively building and offering safe and beautiful places for broken and feisty souls to show up and find the light streaming through their cracks. It takes courage to not stay on the crosses of our lives. As Parker Palmer just said in his blog today – there is a “threat in choosing resurrection.”
To be of the Earth is to know
the restlessness of being a seed
the darkness of being planted
the struggle toward the light
the joy of bursting and bearing fruit
the love of being food for someone
the scattering of your seeds
the decay of the seasons
the mystery of death
and the miracle of birth.
March 29, 2013