Fallen

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Reflections on the Stations of the Cross:

Jesus Falls

Sunday morning, 8:35 a.m. The family hurrying to and fro, getting coats on to get to church for choir warmup. Nicholas didn’t like the side of his reversible coat that was facing out. He wanted me to change it. I was trying to show him how to do it himself, and he went fish-limp, lip stuck out like a sulky three year old instead of the all-but-five year old he is.

I lost my temper.

Sunday afternoon, deep in the middle of trying to upload a home video–a job that’s been hanging over our heads for months (two Christmases on this video, if that tells you anything). Our camcorder uploads in real time. And woe to you if you touch anything on the computer while it uploads. Ten minutes before it finished, some little finger managed to get over there and disrupt the upload, causing us to have to start over.

I lost my temper.

Sunday evening, after dinner, tearing through video edits and feeling conflicted about not having cleared the table. “I’ve got it,” Christian said, and I breathed a sigh of relief–until, at 9:30 p.m., I discovered he stacked them in the sink instead of loading the dishwasher.

I lost my temper.

(News flash: bedtime is not a good time to lose your temper. Especially if you have a history of trouble sleeping.)

There’s been a lot of stress the past six weeks. The details aren’t important, but my self-appointed task during this time has been to keep the household running and the kids sane–and above all, to make Christian’s life easier by shouldering things I would ordinarily pass off to him. I always knew I had a husband who did a lot, but I didn’t realize just how wearing it was going to be to try to do those things myself on a sustained basis.

Until yesterday.

Falling under the weight of a cross is, unfortunately, something we’re all much better acquainted with than we’d like. Jesus fell down three times on the way to Calvary. So many parts of the Passion got skipped when they put these stations together; why did they put three falls in?

Maybe it’s precisely because the experience is so familiar, so inescapable, for all of us. It’s not falling, per se, that is so hard–although a fall definitely bruises my sense of self as follower of Christ. The trick is to get back up, which requires greater emotional and spiritual energy.

What’s really hard, though, is when I have to do it over and over and over again. Times like these, when stress makes itself known through lack of sleep and a sense of swimming upward through sand, the falls come faster and closer together. And the more times I have to pick myself up, the harder it becomes–especially when so many other people are depending on me.

That last time, it had to be a sheer act of will that brought a bruised and battered Christ to his feet. And although the act of being crucified and rising from the dead to break the power of death certainly outweighs an example of persistence, that example is what I most need to get me through.

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4 thoughts on “Fallen

  1. Renee G

    Sorry to hear life has been more trying recently; we all certainly go through those periods in our lives. Thankfully you have a loving husband and your Faith to get you through the rough spots

    • Thanks, Ruth…it’s good for me to write them! (Although I always wince at what my parents think when I lay out my sins! :0 )

      On Mon, Mar 17, 2014 at 7:32 PM, So much to say, so little time wrote:

      >

  2. Mary Kurre

    Thanks for the reminder of what Lent is really about. I don’t know how you do it in the 1st place. But an emotional release of temper seems like it may serve the purpose of keeping you sane as you have more than your share of trying times as a mother. I’m sure God will understand. Thanks for sharing your Lenten Penance with us!

    Love,
    Aunt Mary

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