there are days when holding onto all I know to be truth feels like being given a litre of oil and only my hands to hold it with
the days when arguments storm around the internet with Christians pointing fingers at other Christians, and fingers racing across faith divides faster than lightning strikes, and enough rhetoric to make the whole world confused and turned off
the days I don’t feel anything
the days I look at the violence we commit against each other and the way we ravage the planet
and I start to doubt that I have built my house on a rock and I start to worry that I’m trying to build on quicksand
do you have those days?
this is why I need Lent
this is why I need a daily dose of reminding that running from pain is not the way of the cross
that pain and heartache are evidence of how we all need the cross
that pain, rejection, fear, misunderstanding…. these are not the end of the story
Jesus didn’t run from fear
he didn’t only say the words that people wanted to hear
he also didn’t seem to engage in endless debates about the side issues
he didn’t pretend there weren’t tears – he wept, remember?
he didn’t run away from pain – the lashes, the crown of thorns, the suffocating death, remember?
so, when the world and all its words and images and arguments seek to land me with a faith that feels like oil, I need to run again, back to the cross and feel its splinters real in my hands – to face the pain without the fear
I sit and wait and breathe and hear again
and I drink it down like a parched plant
and when I have nothing left to hold onto but the splinters of the cross I wait to hear
and this is where I sit, and I stop trying to hold the oil and I let the oil pour down over my head and into my heart and I take courage in the fact that when I cannot hold onto my faith I can at least be held and I can know