Some of this is adapted from poetry by Pastor Steve Garnaas-Holmes and some phrases borrowed. Where this is obvious, I place them in block-quote format, though they are adapted. You can read Pastor Steve’s work here:

I AM left dumbfounded at my own ineptitude. I stand here stranded. Hardly able to breathe or shout or cry. Like a rack of shields, I have built my faith. Others have melded the strongest and finest metals in the furnace of my mother’s family of priests, stoked by a paternal Hugeunot charism. You were sent to die for me and for all, and all is as it should be. It was your plan, long ago when some others, long buried, some evil, some confused or both, mocked you and beat you and nailed you to a tree. And I stand before your altar and preside over Holy Mysteries, your religion goes on, and your people are fed, all is according to your plan.

But this was not your plan, was it?.It is not supposed to be like this. You give me a garden and it is Paradise. I am naked as I walk with my love through the grass and across the sand. I am free with birds and flowers and the wild things and sea. All I need is here, all I could ever want and, when comes the cool breeze of evening, you walk with us in shade of Yew and Oak and Eucalyptus, and together we play the branches and the children and my lover dance.

The betrayal, the running away, The Cross… IT’S NOT OK! This is no comfortable fairy tale. It “is finished” but… it… goes on…

And I stand here, dumbfounded, stranded in my ineptitude. I crucify you as if I hammer in the nails with my own hands. I betray you when I cover my body with the world’s and cling to its precepts of control, selective, elective wealth and self-determination. When I build my defences it is you I shut out. And my people bomb children because they are born hiding in the rubble of an Other politico-religious machine. I mock your Cross when I continue to consume while my sisters and brothers starve and die from their unnecessarily thirst-poisoned, dirtied water…

O Jesus, Universal One,this terrible cross is not yours, it’s mine. I built it. I impose it.
And yet you die on it, suffer my injustice, and… forgive.

Into all my guilt and pain and unworthiness, you climb like slipping into my skin. Into all thin loneliness, all rage and flame, into my worst ugliness, my most horrific evil,
you enter and make a home.
My violence, my failure, the little pieces of my soul you gather in your arms.
My whole self you fill, your wine in the chalice of me.
You enter that dark chasm between me and you
and become it, and there is no chasm, no darkness, just
you, and me, and my love, and All, in you.

And still I crucify you and I push you away and walk proud and me into the day. Yet again and yet again you come to me and whisper, and sometimes loudly speak, my name. Again and again, until finally, I die in your arms and… I…am…free.

~ by Fr Tim Ardouin on April 2, 2015.

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