Rose Madrid-Swetman

— Random Thoughts, Stories of Life, and Questions about the Journey —


March 31, 2012

Lenten Reflection Beginning Holy Week

Category: All Posts,Lent/Easter,Stories of Life – Rose – 9:35 am

Tomorrow we begin Holy Week. We follow Jesus beginning with his entry into Jerusalem. We read about the crowds in reverence throwing down palm branches, shouting hosannas. Then comes the cleansing of the Temple, the Passover, betrayal, arrest a contrived trial, betrayal, death by crucifixion and burial.

Back in Luke 9:51 it says, “When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.”

I find it interesting that Luke frames Jesus’ death in Jesus’ ascension. The way to redemption, to new life is through the road of suffering and death. My friend David Ruis penned lyrics in a song that captured my heart years ago: “The way of suffering takes me to the least, down the road of suffering to the wedding feast.”

Turning our face toward suffering is counterintuitive, especially in America. We have every drug available and at our disposal to avoid pain and suffering:

Food – my current drug of choice
Alcohol
Over the counter drugs
Prescription drugs
Exercise
Sex
Children
Spouse
Boyfriend
Girlfriend
Friends
Work

We use processes, people and substances to alleviate our pain and suffering

The list above is by no means complete and most of the items on the list are not bad in and of themselves. It’s when we begin to use anything in excess or in order to avoid pain.

I find I am caught in a terrible bind these days. I use food to stop the immense feeling of powerlessness and pain I feel for the people I love. Watching my heroic stepson battle life-threatening cancer with all his strength. His wife, and the rest of our family praying and believing that God can intervene and commute this sentence. Every one of us along with friends here and around the world who are holding onto to hope beyond hope that a miracle will come any moment.

I wish I were strong and courageous enough to not use something to medicate this pain. But the truth is I’m not. So today, I will practice what my practice has been through this entire Lenten journey, surrender, relinquishment, letting go of my ability to stop pain, suffering and the road that leads eventually to the wedding feast. I will practice relinquishing self-contempt because I eased the pain with chocolate or pasta or whatever drug fills that aching place in my soul. Today I will pray for grace as I take the hand of Jesus and turn my face toward Jerusalem.

1 Comment »

  1. He is walking with you even when you eat. He will take a bite with you because in suffering you are united. I think of the song, Hold On when reading this entry, Hold On I will Hold On I can hear it in my heart. Just Hold On Rose we are all praying your family through this and will never stop expecting that miracle.
    Even when I fall
    You help me stand
    Even when I’m lost
    You take my hand
    I am singing it now. It is so where you are. Perhaps it will give you comfort.

    Comment by Theresa Hanson — March 31, 2012 @ 10:55 am

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