(This blog was originally written by Jean-Marie Jobs in April 2016.)
The more I consider the crucifixion, as both an event and a metaphor, the more I am convinced one of Jesus’ main intentions was to communicate He’s willing to be with us where we’re at. To the point of death. There’s a saying “the method is the message”. The method, the complete surrender to something incredibly painful and humiliating, is a powerful communication about being with people.
The Cross was a willingness to be with what is, with humanity, in our beauty and pain and sin and chaos. We are called to take up our cross daily.
Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. KJV
Why daily? Jesus only did it once, right? Why am I called to do it daily? I submit He did it all the time (and still does). I wonder if, likewise, He is calling us to be with who is actually there instead of who I’d like to be there. Every day. In the midst of our pain, our judgment, our superiority – can we stop and just be with who is there? Or are we so consumed with who we think should be there, we can’t even explore who’s in front of us? Can I be with my husband when he is distracted, wrong, not listening, selfish or grumpy? Or can I only be with my assessments or judgments of where/who he is in the moment? What will I need to put on the cross or die to in order to be truly present with those around me?