easy joy, little crosses
joy comes easy on Easter. blind joy and routine also comes easy on Easter. it is often difficult for me to wrap my mind around the depth of this day.
and i don’t believe i’m alone there.
every Easter, my eyes are opened a little wider, as I experience God in new ways.
today, I am particularly drawn to these glimpses:
this unfamiliar perspective of sacrifice. gods ask for sacrifices. gods require sacrifices. invulnerable. invincible.
God makes a sacrifice.
to bring us to Him.
he couldn’t bear to see us suffer. his love for us cries out over justice. his love for us cries out over our constant betrayal.
unlike anything in history, our Creator makes a sacrifice.
wendell berry’s simple statement, “practice resurrection” can hit us hard as we flash through areas in our life where light flickers and fades, dying to darkness.
as i think of ways i can better practice resurrection, i am brought to two things: having an unoffended heart and taking up my little crosses.
there is freedom in not getting offended.
there is freedom when you let people be who they are, meeting them where they are instead of where you want them to be.
there is a sad habit we have (myself included) of not giving our full attention to people who aren’t who we want them to be.
how selfish of us.
how hypocritical of us.
that we are quick to move our focus to people who are like us
when our Father meets us where we are at, embracing us in our uniqueness
when we are so quick to betray Him, so quick to walk away from being LIKE Him.
forgive us, Father.
let us also be aware that unoffended hearts are the path to accepting our own crucifixion.
i got this phrase from jack bernard’s “How to Become a Saint.”
i feel we aren’t even worthy to claim taking up our own cross.
Jesus suffered so much more. his cross bearing so much pain.
are we even worthy of calling our crosses equal?
yet, Jesus calls us to take up our cross daily.
now, little crosses can seem so big when we endure them.
some of the examples of “little crosses” that bernard gives that are especially convicting:
[allowing someone to "waste" our time due to his or her own negligence - without complaining about it.
letting our own achievements or good deeds be attributed to another.
being blamed for some error or misdeed of another and letting it pass uncontested.]
but we do the same don’t we?
we boast in our talents or in our blessings, with little acknowledgement of God’s hand in it.
we claim glory when we have done nothing.
we are quick to blame God or others when our hands are dirty too.
a path to holiness.
we step forward as we endure our little crosses.
“by taking the little way, i am not refusing bigger crosses. i am saying that i am little and that i will accept the little crosses given to me as opportunities to love and grow in God. i will not pass them up.”
may we accept our own crucifixion.
may we practice our own resurrection.
may we see God’s love lifting us up,
out of the dirt, out of the sadness,
out of the tears and the mourning,
out of the doubt and the objection,
out of the pain and suffering,
see the father’s love from the inside.
you are on the inside now.
breathe it in.
we breathe you in, God.