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Friday, 14 April 2017

Beauty from ashes

This morning I was one in the crowd. One in a somber procession of believers following the cross through Banchory. It was early, but some folk were busy going about their business, as they would have been that first ‘good’ Friday. Some probably barely noted us; others had their own thoughts. I wondered if as a result of the silent demonstration of faith, one or two who walked counter-current to us, will one day turn and join the pilgrimage. That was one prayer.

Silence is powerful. No pressure to fill a void with empty words. Time and peace to consider Jesus. As I appreciated the colourful spring flowers along the way, I wondered if Jesus was able to take in any flashes of beauty as he stumbled through the streets of Jerusalem. Then I thought of the woman who mopped his brow, and of Simon of Cyrene who was impressed into service but then carried the cross and was never the same again. Or at least his sons weren’t, as their names show up in some of Paul’s letters. Snatches of beauty amongst the horror.

I thought of what it means to carry our own crosses today. I asked Jesus for insight and heard ... silence. Sometimes when our crosses are the heaviest and we long for a word from him, it seems we hear only silence. But his promise that he never leaves us assures me that though I don’t hear his voice, he is my silent companion, as I was his, this morning. Saying nothing, just trudging along in love.

When the Father was silent as Jesus hung on the cross, he must have longed for his voice. Instead, there were others around Jesus – not many, but a few – John, Mary his mother, some of the other women. Despite their bewildered horror and grief, perhaps some strength and encouragement was communicated to Jesus in his agony. Praying that we all may be the silent companions, or be the mouthpiece for a few words of divine encouragement, to others who struggle beside us along the way today.

If you are struggling, may you be filled with hope – a confident expectation that good is coming – and peace as you wait for Easter.

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