Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Station 11 of the Cross - Jesus is Nailed to the Cross

photo by Ron Zack / flickr
"He's got the whole world in 
    his hands. 

He's got the whole world in 
   his hands.

He's got the whole world in 
  his hands.

He's got the whole world in
    his hands."

     --Negro Spiritual

As we come to this Station--the journey is winding down.

He has put down the heavy cross.

And they stretch him out and nail his hands to the cross-beam.

Those calloused carpenter's hands.

Those hands that reached upward again and again.

Those hands that helped and healed and calmed. 
Hearts and sometimes even the sea.

Those hands that took in little children 
and touched lepers and cripples and blind folk.

Those hands that broke bread on a hillside and in an Upper Room.

Hands folded in prayer in Gethsemane.

And now stretched as far apart as they could be stretched.

And then--
the pounding and the pounding of the nails.

It is hard for us to even imagine the pain--
but when they lifted him up
held only by the nails in his hands and feet 
the pain grew even worse.

But wait--is it so hard to imagine--the nails?

We have known them all our lives. The shame we carried. 
The sickness we or ours have endured.

Nailed to a job that we hated.
To a marriage that did not  work.
To a body less than whole. 
To the wrong skin color.
Or the wrong country.

To limits which kept us confined and boxed in 
and painful, too sometimes.

There were scars on those hands 
the soldiers must have noticed as they drove in the nails.

Carpenters knew about knicks and cuts and wounds 
and sometimes fingers gone from work somewhere.

We know about nails don't we. There are nicks
and cuts all over.

We found it hard sometimes. We still do.
For the nails of our lives pinch and hurt terribly.

But his nails do not hold. There will always 
be scars but the nails will be gone.

Look up at the nailed Jesus. 
Like other stations along this hard road--
we meet him where we are. 

If his nails do not hold--forever--maybe
just maybe those things that constrict us all
will not last forever. 

Is it any wonder that black folk sang the song that came from their hearts again and again.
"He's got you and me brother, 
He's got you and me sister, 
He's got you and me ... in his hands.
He's got the whole wide world in his hands."

photo by arbyreed / flickr

--Roger Lovette /

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