"One of the Women"
I don't know why we stayed. It was hard to stay. It would have been easier to leave, and not to witness the pain, and not to hear the laughter, and not to see the shame. Almost everyone had left. There were still a few soldiers, gambling for his clothes. But there were no crowds any more. There were no crowds cheering for him -- and there were not crowds jeering at him, either. Not any more. But we stayed, even though it was hard. Sometimes you have to do the hard thing for someone you love. And we loved him.
Speaking for myself, I still didn't want to give up on him. I didn't want to believe that everything was over. He had given me dignity. He had given me hope. He had healed me. He had given me freedom. How could that end? I didn't want to think that I had believed in the wrong things, trusted the wrong person.
But crucifixion means only one thing, and that is death. There could be no other ending. There was no hope. He was our hope, and he was on the cross. I suppose that's why everyone else went home. They knew how it would end. But we stayed, because we didn't want to believe it -- not yet. And we wanted to be near him.
Yes, that's right. We wanted to be near him until the end. That's what you do for someone you love, and we loved him. He had given us so much, and now we wanted to give him something. We weren't even sure he knew if we were there, but he did. Because even then, he was giving us something.
He gave us one another. He said, "Here is your son." and "here is your mother" just as if he knew that we needed each other as much as we needed him. He made us a family.
We have been a family ever since that day. Something was born on that cross. I know that seems strange to say. And I don't mean just Jesus' mother and his disciples were his family. No -- we are all connected to one another, brothers and sisters and mothers and fathers. Because of the cross. Because of what he did. We live differently now. We care for one another. We make sure each of us has food and clothing -- and hope. We stay with each other, even in hard times. I don't mean to say that we have suddenly become perfect. We haven't. But like I said -- he gave us to each other on the cross, just like he gave himself to us.
Sometimes you have to do the hard thing for someone you love.
*image is by Patt LaPorte