I take up my cross

         “Take up your cross and follow me.”
                  —Matthew 16.24

The cross is not an annoyance,
not a burden thrust on me,
but willingly entering
the suffering of the world.
Jesus, help me.

I behold your love,
overflowing from your cross,
love piercing my suffering,
your love buried in my death.

Your love overflows in me for others,
to suffer in care, in forgiveness, in blessing,
to be for them even when they are against me.

Give me courage, strength and endurance
to listen, receive, accept and bless
despite all whips and nails.

To associate with the lowly,
to weep or rejoice with them,
to overcome evil with good.

To cry to Pharaoh,
bold, firm and vulnerable,
to let my people go.

Letting go of fears and desires,
I take up my cross
and follow you, close.

It is your cross.
You are here with me.
This is where I want to be, close to you.

And ah! amazing grace:
you carry all the weight.
It is your hands they pierce,
your death I bear,
and your rising.

August 31, 2017