Friday, March 4, 2016

Station 6--Veronica Wipes Jesus' Face

photo by Jim Forest / flickr

as we do unto 

the least of these...

we do it unto him.''  

    --Matthew 25.

There are no bit players on the Via Dolorosa--the way of sorrows--

Simon, his mother, the weeping women, the soldier with his spear and sponge, the dying thief.

But in Station 6 there is another character that comes on stage.

We know little about her for her name is not found in the story.

 But for some reason here is dear Veronica 
taking the scarf from her head and wiping the face of Jesus.

Women were not supposed to be close to the drama.

They were to stay back out of the way--out of sight.

So Veronica, one of several women, 
courageously broke the rules--
reached out and touched the bloody face of Jesus--
wiping it as clean as she would a little boy's.

She kept the scarf--but before she covered her head--
she saw a strange image on that scarf.

It was the tortured face of Jesus.

There is an old novel about school teachers.
The rules said plainly: "Do not touch the wounds."
One might get sued. 
Or make matters worse.
Or catch something.
Teachers had to be careful.

But that did not stop the teacher.
And it did not stop Veronica.
Maybe we only see his face 
when we touch somebody else's face.

There is another story about a nurse went about her work, 
emptying bed pans, 
changing soiled sheets--
whispering kindness even to the unkind.
A friend said, " I wouldn't do what you do
for all the money in the world."
The nurse replied, Neither would I."

 Could it be that in touching somebody's wounds--
we discover the greatest secret of them all.

--Roger Lovette /

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