“I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death…” – Philippians 3:10
Many travels have led to this town, to this road; rough, steep, all uphill. Arrogance, stiff necks, ignorance have brought this about. People line the road crying, laughing. Why are they milling around? What have they come to see? Wild eyes look expectantly, then turn away. The human river pulses as it stares. Horror truly is fascinating. Could they walk this road? Can I? I press on.
Clamoring voices, strident demands, churning fears swirl by their own energy, going nowhere. Arguments are countered, fists are held higher and higher, faces contort into ugliness, molded by hate and fear. But still, I press on, dragging a burden forced on me, but shouldered by my own will. No matter the lies, the temptations, the derision, I press on. This is too hard a thing to do! This is too great a thing not to do. And so I press on. Surely, there will never be another time when one person sacrifices another for their own sake! So I press on. The noise of the crowd fades. Tears and blood blind my sight, the burden crushes me and I fall. A face, a cloth, the tears of another offered to me, so I can press on. Sound diminishes, feeling is numbed, spirit surrenders utterly to final blows. I am lifted, and all is dark.
Resting peacefully in the arms of the One, all fear and pain subside. There are no sounds now but that of gentle breaths, no motion but the heart softly beating.
Blessed One, “help me press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.” Amen.