Monday, March 27, 2006

~:F A L L I N G:~

No one likes falling. This time of year, at Easter, I often wonder why we go through the morbid motions of The Stations Of The Cross. It's been a Catholic thing since forever, and while we Episcopalians are not as morbid as our Catholic bretheren, we still get down and dirty with the bad news of Christ's death every Easter.

Since a few years back I've been involved with creating a Station of The Cross with other members of the congregation at St. Patrick's Episcopal Church. Every year I find the thought of interpreting yet another station overwhelming, yet the actual exercise is always cathartic. So I guess that answers my question. Why bother thinking about the bad stuff when it's going to hurt? Because iIt teaches you something different every time. It feels as good as seeing a sad movie. An opera. Shakespeare! These are good stories because they all have moral centers. The crucifiction is no different. It helps me identfy the purpose of my own pain. That it actually DOES something for me.

This is the second year I chose Jesus Falls for the Third Time. No one likes this station - what's the big deal about falling? How exciting is that? Well, plenty exciting. Falling is something we must get used to doing over and over and over again. When you fall, you learn. When you learn you grow. When you fall - you get right back up and try again. This relentless struggle of life is the story I wanted to tell in this station.

I remember the first time I fell and chose not to cry. I was in Kindergarten and SO proud of myself. Skinned my knee, even. Dad came to pick me up that afternoon from school and I ran into his arms, band-aid on my knee with my proud news. "I fell and skinned my knee and DECIDED not to cry!!" So that was a learning experience for me. So powerful, I never forgot it. Thirty something years later, that falling got interpreted into the image you see here.

Jesus eventually fell the third time - and straight to his death. And then to his rebirth. As we also fall again and again and are reborn each time we continue in spite of the fall. So I'm not alone when I fall - as painful and embarassing at it is. I hate falling. But fall I shall. And grow I shall. And learn I shall. And love I shall. Again and again and again.


amy rush said...

It's ironic that you mentioned St. Patrick's because I drove past it tonight and thought, "that looks like a neat building. I wonder if they really do it up on St. Patrick's day." I've never been to that part of ATL before.

I really like your interpretation of Jesus falling. I can see the struggle to keep his dignity and then just...falling. We Methodists are Easter people. We really focus on the I, too, struggle with the crucifiction. But I love that it's Jesus as his most human self. My faith is strengthened by knowing that this amazing teacher was real flesh and pain and strength and weakness and questioning and knowing all in one.

I hope you're having a good break.

Anne Elser said...

That's really beautiful, Amy. Profound. St Pat's has been there for about 30 years and it's where I grerw up. You were in my neighborhood! It's an earthy church - rich in the spirit, which can turn a lot of folks off. A wonderful place.

I agree with Christs humanity - it's there to make us feel leess alone. His life is one giant metaphor for ours.

Tania Rochelle said...

Anne, this reminds me of my favorite lines from Kipling's "If":

Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
and stoop and build 'em up with broken tools...