We went over to see friends on Holy island today. Lunch and gossip, which is always good. With a bit of time to spare between tides, we dropped into see an exhibition there ( http://www.holyisland-stcuthbert.org/events.htm ) based on the Stations of the Cross. The images (photo's) were only of hands. Now, I have seen something similar before - painted stations of the cross in Holy Trinity & St Barnabas' Paisley. But the texts accompanying them made the difference. The one that struck me were uplifted hands, reflecting on the Jesus meeting the women of Jerusalem (Station VIII). The text (which I will paraphrase somewhat) was "The women were wailing. It's always the women who wail. For their men, their children".
A terrible truth that. When war or hunger strikes, it's the women who wail. In Mali, Syria or Afghanistan. Wherever. But the text concluded each of the Stations by turning the agony on its head and reminding us that in Christ, even the most desperate agony and tragedy is transformed by his suffering love into Love. That is a Christian belief and truth. A terrible mystery, a wonderful if bizarre paradox to be sure. But it also lies at the very heart of the Lenten journey - we pass through contemplating horrors which all too often are not mysterious but easily explicable phenomena to any student of human nature and history. The mystery, the hope is the transforming love of the suffering, self offering God we encounter in the person of Jesus Christ. Who we draw closer to in this Holy Season as we approach the mystery of the Cross and Resurrection.