I was working on a series of ink blocks for Lent. I have done this for the last several years. To be honest I do it for myself since it forces me to confront the Passion Story, to meditate, to pray and give thanks for our Lord’s sacrifice.
Last night I was working furiously on the next to last block. In fact I had become so involved with the work that time had passed and I hadn’t gotten up at all to stretch. When I did my shoulders were stiff, my hands clinched has if claws, and then I looked down at what I had done.
I was shocked at what I saw. The block wasn’t even inked but it struck me spiritually hard. There was my representation of the Savior’s feet being nailed to the cross. Now I wanted this series to be dark to force the viewer to face the sacrifice, the pain, the agony of walking, stumbling and falling on the way to Calvary. I wanted the figure to look some what like a skeleton…but not like this. This might be too much.
But then I realized too much is appropriate. John Chrysostom, a fourth-century bishop and preacher in Constantinople asked, “Do you see how the devil is defeated by the very weapons of his prior victory? The devil had vanquished Adam by means of a tree. Christ vanquished the devil by means of the tree of the Cross. The tree sent Adam to hell. The tree of the Cross brought him back from there. The tree revealed Adam in his weakness, laying prostrate, naked and low. The tree of the Cross manifested to all the world the victorious Christ, naked and nailed on high. Adam’s death sentence passed on to all who came after him. Christ’s death gave life to all his children.”
Today take a moment to be “shocked” by the Cross, by the sacrifice of our Savior. Today pause and give thanks for the hands, for the feet, for the body of our Lord. Today your life is different because of Him. See you on the path!