We all have our crosses to bear.
On this Good Friday, the most solemn day in the Christian faith, it is hard for me to ignore the subject of crosses. Crosses are the very heart of the Christian faith. Today, we commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. This is the day that lead to the weekend that changed the course of religious history. Essentially, if it were not for Good Friday, Easter would have no meaning. We all know the story. We have heard the Passion many times. But how often do we reflect on it, and what it means to be a Christian?
Some would like to believe that having faith keeps you free from harm and stress your whole life. Not so. The bible does not claim this. The truth is, all people suffer in their lives. If you were to look at the beatitudes, it talks about the very concept that people suffer in this world, and that those who suffer are blessed in their own right. The promise of Christianity has nothing to do with freedom from trials in this life. Rather it is the promise of paradise in the afterlife to those who take up their crosses. When we think about it, everyone in this world encounters grief, hard times, and stress in their lives. And there are experiences that are at the root of these feelings.These experiences, per Christianity, are our crosses. In my case, of course, the cross is breast cancer.
I didn't get to chose this disease coming into my life. I am certain that given the choice, I would have asked to NOT have experienced it in my life. However, the truth is that if I had a how laundry list to choose from, what would I have picked? I haven't the slightest clue. I assume that is why the choice is not up to us. Because really, how does one decide between our own illness, the illness of a loved one, poverty, violence, abuse, or any other cross for that matter? We simply can't. So we are all given what is selected for us, and we are tasked with making the best of it.
I do not claim to be Christ-like, for none of us are that divine. But I do claim to be a follower, which obligates me to do the best I can to live up to the values of my faith. These include love, compassion, respect, honesty, hope. I do believe that my cross is something that I can use to help others. I continue to live that mission. I am on the committee for the Cancer Support Community walk for wellness. Our walk is on June 3rd which is Cancer Survivor's day. From my perspective, being on the committee is a great way to help further the mission of this wonderful organization, celebrate those survivors who continue to bear their own crosses every day, and perhaps raise funds to help bolster the program even further. I also continue to regularly encounter new breast cancer patients... A new one joined the ranks this week. So I continue to try to help them, giving them hope, love and support as they muddle through those hazy early days.
At the end of the day, I don't really know what I am supposed to be doing here, but I am interpreting the teaching of my faith and applying them the best I can. I do hope I am doing a good job. I believe that I am.