This week I have spent a lot of time staring at a crucifix on the wall of my hospital room. The cross itself is simple wood, it appears; the Jesus is a bronzy-gold contemporary statue.
He wears a robe, his hands stretched toward Heaven, His face turned to the side and down. His head bears a crown of thorns. The robe covering his legs narrows to a sharp point at slightly raised knees and ends with feet.
This crucifix has mocked me this week. I am not drawn to its modern sharp edges. It’s so clean, so much a piece of art.
Furthermore, it seems to be telling me I want to present as cleaned up a life to the world as this crucifix does. Neither images are true.
The crucifixion was a bloody business. It was cruel. It was barbaric. You can’t clean that up and be real.
Earlier this week I admitted I briefly thought suicide was my only option out of my messy painful life. They were fleeting thoughts rooted in fear and denial. They were dismissed as quickly as they came. Nonetheless they were there.
There’s no cleaning this up folks. But it makes me question how honest we are behind our Sunday morning smiles. How different would out relationships be if a brother fighting a battle against pornography acknowledged that? Or a sister admitted she and her kids had a screaming match every morning no matter what she tried.
What happens when these same people cross the church door threshold? For a few hours are they cleaned up? No. Like me they know how to hide the ugly. So let me try again:
“Hello, my name is Faye. I am s believer with a messy, painful life but I cling to Jesus and keep trying. Who are you?”