I Lean on Your Cross

I am a wanderer on a journey
to a home I’ve never seen.
I am on pilgrimage,
And the way is narrow and treacherous.
But I lean on your wooden Cross
as an old man leans on his wooden staff.
When I would fall,
with it I become balanced,
When I do fall,
with it I rise again.

When life perplexes me
and feels like a meaningless hole
Within which I pour effort after exhausting effort,
I see You
In Gethsemane,
Your life and death perplexing You,
You following the Father’s command
into the breach.
And in Your surrender to the unknown,
You accomplish more than any man ever could.

When I am weighed down by worries,
Will my children be OK?
Will my wife be OK?
Will I be OK?
Keeping me up at night,
I see you
Sweating drops of blood,
Unwilling to hide your despair from the Father,
Unwavering in Your childlike trust
Even to death.

When I am offended
Being maligned, misrepresented,
Foes manipulating the truth
To paint me a fool and a crook
I see You
Standing before Pilate
And the raging crowd,
Silent before Your accusers,
Saving Your words,
Not willing to cast Your pearls before swine.

When I am tired,
Exhausted from the day’s work,
Not wanting to pray,
Not feeling the love,
Wanting only comfort
And a soft bed to collapse into,
I see You
Falling from the whippings
Yet rising again,
Falling from the weight of the beams
Yet rising again,
Set like flint towards Your fulfillment.

When I am proud,
Thinking I stand alone,
Needing no one,
But drowning in a sea of responsibilities
I cannot lift my head above,
I see You,
Holy God Almighty,
Not so proud as to embrace
Fellow shoulders
To carry the weight of Your Cross with You.

When I rush through life,
Ignoring those I love
And the divine appointments
You place before me,
Thinking my schedule more pressing
Than the souls I see around me
I see You,
With Veronica,
Wiping Your face with a cloth,
Thinking she does You service
By being with You,
Not realizing that she is the one
Blessed to see and receive
The face of Christ forever
In something so simple
As a handkerchief,
From an act so mundane
As the wiping of tears
From another’s eyes.

When I am bitter,
Cut too many times
With the same knife
In the hands of the same friend,
My heart closing in on itself
A black hole within,
I see You,
Seeing Your accusers,
Your friends become enemies
Your countrymen become traitors
And begging God to spare them
For their ignorance.

When I feel the hammer
Of my sin
Pounding against my consciousness
Forcing me like a turtle
Deep within the shell
Deep within the facade
That no one can see beyond
I see You,
Arms so open in embrace
They cannot close
For the nails that hold them there.
Your words of consolation
To the thief dying next to You
Echoing in the chambers
Of my own heart.

When I feel alone,
A stranger amidst a hundred others
Faceless and nameless as I am,
I see You,
Abandoned
By Your dearest friends
Jeered at
By the crowd that
Just days before,
Cried, “Hosanna.”

When I become lost
In my narcissism,
Seeing only
My problems,
My fears,
My worries,
As though I were the only one
Left in the world,
I see You,
Telling the women
Who weep for You,
To instead weep for Jerusalem,
Telling Your beloved disciple
To care for Your mother
And tend to her needs,
As though Your own
Were not worth the effort.

When I am utterly pressed
Hard against the concrete
Face down, arms out
Unable to rise,
Unable to breath
Not knowing how to pray,
Not knowing if tomorrow will come,
Not knowing if tomorrow
Is worth coming,
When I am utterly dejected,
Given over to black despair,
And both in my heart
And in the world,
I see only chaos and death.
When the sun grows large
And all the universe
Looks as though it will die out
In a fiery blaze,
And all with it,
I see You,
God Almighty,
Creator of All,
Spent and worn
Like a tattered rag,
Draped lightly upon that Tree,
Taken down with the greatest care,
And buried,
Along with every dream Your people had
That this time, it would be different,
That this time, the Kingdom would come
That this time, the King would reign,
And every tear would be wiped away,
And every wound healed.

When everything I am
When everything I have
Is gone,
Stolen from me,
When I am left in complete poverty,
So perfect and thorough
As to have left me with nothing,
I see You,
After having given all,
Rising with newness
With a freshness
That rivals the first day,
And overtakes it in glory and splendor.

When all that I am
Meets all that Your are,
I am dwarfed in Your Presence.
My life is transfigured
And I am transcendent
As You lift me higher and higher,
Above and beyond.

I am a wanderer on a journey
to a home I’ve never seen.
I am on pilgrimage,
And the way is narrow and treacherous.
But I lean on your wooden Cross
as an old man leans on his wooden staff.
When I would fall,
with it I become balanced.
When I do fall,
with it I rise again.

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