I was walking around one of my favorite places the other day – the Abbey of the Holy Cross – in Berryville, Virginia and the proverbial poop hit the fan as I came to a brutal realization: I hold the hammer.
I hold the hammer that nails Jesus to the cross.
Every person I have hurt, used, abused, manipulated, and ‘murdered’ in my head, heart, or actions – all of them are reminders that I re-crucify Jesus every time I sin. Every time I neglect the poor, every time I walk away from an opportunity to see and share Jesus, every time I neglect the poor one “within” I crucify Jesus all over again.
I hold the hammer…
And yet as I slam the mallet down as hard as I can upon the spike, smashing it into the wrist of Love, I see His face look over at me, and covered in spit, filth and blood…and I see Him tell me “I love you…I love you this much,” His arms stretched so wide they seem as if they could rip from His Body. “Come Home, my son, come back to Me…come back to Mercy!”
And in disgust, I hit the nail harder.
If I just hit it hard enough, I think the ‘thwacking’ sound of metal into flesh will drown out my guilt, my shame, my sin. I am human and I can not take such Love so easily. I sometimes try and crucify that which I Love and is Loving to me.
But still that Face…He keeps looking over at me telling me no matter how hard I slam down on the spike, no matter how hard I try to lift the Tree, no matter how far away I run, that He will still welcome me into Paradise. His love is that insane, that Crazy that He would forgive me both in spite of myself and because of His self.
For in His tender eyes, all bloodied over and bruised, He tells me I am still made in the Image of His Father, in the Image of Love.
But still, I hold the hammer that nailed Love to the Cross.
And He bled forgiveness, mercy and love…