With the scent of flowers and incense still in my memory I wonder about all that has happened in this place, in this community, and especially in my own heart. Thirteen services, countless dead trees, hundreds of new faces, unceasing prayer, shaky voices, heart wrenching liturgical dance, soulful preaching encouragement, music that drops you to your knees, leaving the desert, and entering courts of praise with tears of thanksgiving. What has really changed? Why do we, I, do what we do here?
Here in this hallowed place. This place of tradition, memories, and memorials. This place that has literally been smashed to pieces by forces beyond the control of its people and rebuilt with love. It is a place of resurrection in so many ways. It glorifies a resurrected savior and I wonder, is that what it means to live a resurrected life? To be smashed to pieces by something beyond my control and being rebuilt in love.
To love enough that even when all is smashed there is hope for a new day, a new beginning, a new path. To love enough to stay in the midst of brokenness, dashed dreams, trashed trust. To love enough to see poor choices, less than healthy decisions, and accept I cannot change them.
To hope that tomorrow will bring more moments of joy than pain for those I walk with. To hope that my words and my hands made a difference for someone today. To hope that someone’s load is made easier by a kind word or a hug.
To trust that even when it doesn’t seem so, what I do matters. To trust that being faithful means doing things that sometimes don’t feel comfortable. To trust enough to put my heart out there again knowing it might be shattered once more.
As the memory of the week walks through my mind, I realize I did journey with my Savior to the cross. Often I was carried as he met me in the hands, hugs, and prayers of those who love me. That truly black Friday scarred my soul as I pondered life with a hole that could never be filled. The week so full of too much doing it was easy to lose sight of the importance of the journey. It was not me on that cross, it was the One who loves me so perfectly that it frightens me. By climbing on that hard wood and refusing to be held there, I was given the gift to love, to hope, and to trust that while I may never know how, things have changed forever for those who beheld the beautiful flowers and inhaled the smoke that smells like God. And the one most changed was me.