I see sorrow. I see grief. Utter Despair. There is wailing. There is a depth of heartache I have never known.
I also see pride. Stoicism. There are those who feel a sense of accomplishment a victory.
I see anger. Frustration. Absolute rage. Injustice beyond belief.
There is confusion. Mass hysteria. Doubt.
I stand isolated. An observer – one of the confused. Unsure of what to feel. What to believe.
A man hangs on the cross.
Prideful Roman soldiers taunt him. It doesn’t look as though they care about his suffering. Yet they seem so sure of themselves. They mock his name inscribed where he hangs, “King of the Jews.” Scoffing, they doubt. They don’t believe. They can’t believe. Why can’t they believe? Does this mean I shouldn’t believe? Are they on to something?
And yet still there are the Pharisees. They at least could believe wholeheartedly that this man needed to die. They cared so much; were showing such incredible conviction. Unwavering. Why can’t I at least feel this sure?
I shouldn’t be doubting. Why am I doubting? Why can’t I just be sure like the Pharisees?
Quickly my attention is drawn to the heart-rending sobs coming from closer to the cross. The women closest to Jesus pouring out their pain and disbelief that their Lord, their Rabbi, is dying the most painful death. Watching them is drawing my heart to their anguish. Their belief. Something in their inconceivable and painful grief is hard to watch, and yet I can’t look away.
Why can’t I be like the women at the foot of the cross who are so devoted? So beautifully in love and sure of the Rabbi they have come to adore. The closer my heart gets to desiring that kind of devotion, the more my anxiety overwhelms.
I can feel the heart in my chest beating as though it wants to alert my body to flee the devastating scene before me. I feel sick to my stomach. It is as if I am at the edge of the cliff, a wall at my back pushing me closer until I have nowhere to go but down. My world is collapsing. I fall to the ground. My anxiety comes like a wave tossing my body to and fro.
I cannot know what to feel because I do not know what to believe and I do not know what to believe because I do not know what to feel. I struggle to find solid ground. I can only question myself.
What am I supposed to feel? What is happening? Is this really the King of the Jews? Were they right to kill him? Does this mean what some are talking about, are they killing God’s own son?
Why am I not crying, mourning, wailing?
Why am I not showing my grief?
Why am I not angry?
Enraged at the injustice, the division.
Something is telling me I should be feeling one or the other. I want to choose.
My mind, my body, says no. Too scary. Too sure. Too naive. Too reckless.
A voice cries out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me.” I look up. A cry filled with agony and unbelievable torment comes from the depths of his soul. He takes his last breath.
The air is thick. I can hardly move. I need to leave. It is too much. This can’t really have happened.
I rise. My legs hardly keeping me up. I begin to walk away.
A whisper, a breath, a wind, envelops me, rests on my shoulders.
It speaks into my soul “Oh my darling, only be, be still, be here, be now. Something has taken place here today that has changed everything. I have created a new way. Things are different. No need to be confused. Only Know that. Only Know Me. All else shall follow.”