For I am ready to fall, and my pain is ever with me. I confess my iniquity; I am sorry for my sin. Those who are my foes without cause are mighty, and many are those who hate me wrongfully. Those who render me evil for good are my adversaries because I follow after good. Do not forsake me, O Lord; O my God, do not be far from me; make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation. Psalm 38:17-22
Some representations of Jesus falling show a Roman soldier hitting Jesus, forcing him to pick up his cross and continue his slow, painful walk. Here, though, the Centurion seems to be showing a moment of compassion; he holds up one hand towards the man who has picked up the dropped cross, as if saying, “hold on, give him a moment to get his breath back, wait a bit, give him a chance”… and isn’t that what we all need? When we “fall”, when things go wrong for us, when we make mistakes, don’t we want a moment, a “breather”, the chance to recover, before starting again?
In 2009, when Barack Obama was inaugurated as President of the United States, he quoted from a song written in 1936, saying “Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America”. We may not have such a responsibility, but we all need, at times, to remake our lives, and with the help of Christ, we will.
Compassionate God – when I fall, give me the courage, grant me the strength, to take time to pick myself up, dust myself off and start all over again, walking my own way of the cross, following your directions for my life, in the footsteps and in the name of Jesus. Amen
Ms Trish Lindsay, former Parish Reader at St Chrysostom’s.
And now move to the Eighth Station.