More on this chapter of the exhibit HERE.
This week, I’ve been thinking about the thief on the cross to whom Jesus promises, “today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). It’s never too late to start over.
As the shine of yoga-camp-life wears off, and we’re traveling, my new healthful routine gets to having cracks in it and my body and soul feel the un-balancing starting to set in. Instead of starting the day with psalms and meditation, I’m eager to get going, feed the animals, start the coffee, then suddenly I’m showering and driving to work, the day long-since begun and no quiet time to speak of.
How important it is, though, when I know not what a day will bring, to spend a bit of time waiting and asking to be filled up with strength and compassion for the day ahead–though I’m blind to the future, God, the giver of all strength and compassion, is not. Indeed, God knows exactly what I will need. God knows what a day will hold and exactly what I will need to survive, thrive, and serve him well in it. Why not give him a chance to fill me up before it begins?
And I must remember, it’s never too late to start over. Of course, a new day with its morning light and freshness is a natural, comfortable moment to start over, but it can be anytime of day. The thief on the cross started over at the very last possible moment, and it still wasn’t too late.
The Three Crosses (Rembrandt) via
“Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.” John 21:18
via (I strongly recommend clicking on the photo to view a larger version)
In this photo, I see my own dog stretching. I see the yoga pose downward dog which I practice almost prosaically every day. I see the majesty of nature, in nails, in mane. I see the power of violence. What do you see?
“It isn’t Narnia, you know,” sobbed Lucy. “It’s you. We shan’t meet you there. And how can we live, never meeting you?”
“But you shall meet me, dear one,” said Aslan.
“Are -are you there too, Sir?” said Edmund.
“I am,” said Aslan. “But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.”
-C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
(and, more stirring quotations from the Narnia Series)
Michaelangelo’s Pieta Housed in St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome, Italy; in Carrera marble.
Contemplate Jesus’ body, the lifelessness communicated in the marble, the way Jesus’ shoulder and its flesh yield to his mother Mary’s hand as she holds her son for the last time.
Jesus is human, suffering and obedient to the point of death, gaunt and spent in the first arms to have comforted him.