|photo by jimforest / flickr|
Our little crowd moves past the seventh station where Jesus falls a second time. The Priest says, “Jesus somehow gets back on his feet still dragging the heavy cross as best he can. So, let’s stop here by the Eighth Station.” Looking up we see the women, the friends of Jesus, lamenting as only mid-Eastern women can. They are crushed and broken-hearted as they see the terrible things that are happening to Jesus. Luke calls them “the daughters of Jerusalem.” I love that title. All the way through the book, really we find these daughters. Take these daughters from the story and it would be poorer indeed.
We Protestants probably have made too little of Mary, the Mother of our Lord. Maybe the Catholics have it right with all their statues of the Holy Mother. But she is only a representative of all those other Mothers along the way. And all those who never married or all those who never gave birth—or couldn’t.
They are all there in the crowd, really. Dear Elizabeth, John’s mother.
The Mary’s and Martha’s.
The woman at the well with a shabby reputation.
Mary Magdalene who washed his feet.
Mother of Zebedees' sons.
The woman caught in adultery.
The wise and foolish virgin’s.
Lydia and Dorcas.
The daughters of Jerusalem. We know them well.
Those mothers whose boys and girls have been beheaded. Malala. Those little twelve year olds strapped with bombs and pushed out into the crowd. Trayvon’s mother and Michael Brown’s mother. All those over there who live in bombed-out places and who have never known anything except fear and hunger and pain and destitution. Rape victims. Those daughters eaten away with Ebola or weighing seventy pounds in some African hovel. These mothers are everywhere in Palestine as well as Israel.
And this is why he lingered for just a moment on his journey. Looking up we remember what he told those daughters that sad day. “Do not weep for me...weep for yourselves...”
Not crocodile tears—but tears for injustice and all those daughters whose lives are hard as they stand behind some McDonald’s counter or locked in some room at fourteen to be used by all those who pay the man. And so Jesus says, “Do not weep for me.” We are to look around us at where the tears should fall.
Maybe this station reminds us it really isn’t about us. And our job is to give attention, as did our Lord to all those daughters in need. And in our time when compassion seems to be waning perhaps this is one of the most important stations of them all.
--Roger Lovette / rogerlovette.blogspot.com