Falling. Stumbling. Slipping. Stubbing.
We all fall down.

I fall down.

It’s why I grasp onto the prayer of the Stations of the Cross.
Because Christ falls, not once, but THREE times, as he carries his cross. And today is Friday and so I am thinking about this, tis the season….yeah, for falling.

Thus, as I fall, every darn day…it helps me. It helps me to pray the stations, to read and contemplate his exhaustion, how very hard it was to take the next step, any step, to just hold.
And he needed help…or, more precisely, he ALLOWED help.

Now he allowed help in order to let us participate, in order to show that through weakness we can be strong, together. He allowed help because that cross was SO. VERY. HEAVY….from us.
Perhaps if he hadn’t fallen, and allowed help to get up and keep going…just contemplating this walk would break us too. It would break me, I know. As it is, just contemplating it is heavy on my heart, every time.

And yet, it’s also such a help. Because I fall.
I’m falling. I fall again and again, ever, in carrying this measly hollow reed of a cross that I’ve been given.
I throw it down, tired and fed up. I gripe, I moan, I whine. As if that will help. It doesn’t. It only annoys everyone, not the least of which is myself (I offer a blanket apology to all my long suffering friends and family).

It’s OH so easy to compare crosses. Such a trap.
I do, though. All the time. And then I want to skulk away, knowing my cross is a twig, a hollow twig. It is filled with sweet kisses and belly hugs, soft sighs in the morning, and inside jokes.
Even so, I know this but some days I drop it, again and again. Because too often I focus on the struggles the fussing the attitudes the physical tiredness. But that mere twig, woven from eight (ok, nine) special souls in my care, grows in my selfish tired heart and hands into a giant redwood.
On those days, I strain to see through the gloaming…the shadows are long.
But I have blinded my own self. I am only looking at the hard, the tired…me.

Then another blessed Lenten Friday arrives, again, and I kneel to pray the stations.
I sing, off key, the Stabat Mater, in between the Stations.
And I blink to keep the tears back as my eyes, my heart, comes into focus again.
My twiggy cross is filled with sweet kisses and belly hugs, soft sighs in the morning, and inside jokes.
It is MY cross.
It is MY joy.

I fell down.
With help, and new eyes again, I get up.
It’s Friday…time for the Stations…again.