Most of my thoughts have focused on the Cross. I've been wondering what it'd be like to stand at the foot of the Cross with Mary, Mary Magdalen, and John, looking up at Jesus in all His agony, drops of His blood falling all around, and His eyes looking down at me with pure love. It's a powerful image. This face that's directed towards me is a face that makes angels tremble as they gaze. As I look at Him, I know all my mistakes, all my sins, all my indifference towards His love, but He looks at me with so much love still!
Thinking about this made me wonder what it would mean to spend the rest of my life standing there with Him. I thought about how only 3 of His loved ones were there for Him. What must it have cost them? What did they give up to be there? But, more importantly, what did they gain? For them, Jesus was all that mattered. Jesus made it all worth while. In His look of love, the world melts away and the peace, purpose, and joy that we all seek is fulfilled.
For each person, our staying by His side is going to be different, but for each of us, it involves putting aside our fears and insecurities and letting ourselves realize that Jesus' love is all that we need and more than enough to fill us up. It also means that we can't hide in the crowd, but we have to step out for everyone to see. It means being vulnerable. However, letting go of what other people think means that we step closer to Jesus, letting Him see us more completely.
Sometimes the things that are holding us back are bad, but sometimes they're good things, like our loves and desires and goals. I'll give you an example from my own life. I tend to hold on too tightly to my loved ones, like my grandpa. He is one of my favorite people in the whole world. He's always supported me, believed in me, and I know how much he loves me. He's changed my life. He's someone I know is in my corner and has my back. Even my fear and sorrow as he approaches death is something that's holding me back from standing at the foot of the Cross. If I want to be there, I have to let everything go; I can't hold anything back. God has been teaching me how to do that, very slowly and very gently. I can picture me clinging to my grandpa and Jesus is right there next to us, His arms open wide, ready to embrace him. Very, very slowly, I'm opening my arms so Grampy can go to Jesus. But as I let go, I'm embraced too, meaning I'm drawn closer to Jesus. That act of trust doesn't mean that I love less, but it helps me to love more, because I can trust my loved ones to the Creator and Lover of us all. I hope that's a helpful description. Think of this too; if our hands or arms are full of something else, how will there be space to hold onto Jesus?
As we let go of whatever is holding us back, we become more ourselves. Remember, in stepping out to the Cross, there's nothing to hide behind. We're seen for who we are. In letting go, we begin to open up. We don't have to hide because we're free.
Holiness is you becoming more yourself. God uses you where you are and with everything that He put inside you. Don't be afraid to let go and grab onto Jesus!
May God bless you as you approach the Easter season! I pray that you are filled with knowledge of God's mercy and His unconditional love! He's standing right there, waiting for you.