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A Pillar: A Lenten Reflection

Updated on March 8, 2017

A pillar in a soldiers' den.

Strong, tall, yet, less than nothing to them.

Made to hold a roof to shield

From wind and sun and rain.

Yesterday, a soldier I protected

Hammered a nail in my back;

A painful nail so deep

It reached my heart.

Today, it holds a bucket that

When removed I breathe a sigh

Of respite since when in place

It's their sport to practice aim with spits.

They miss the target often and hit me instead.

I cannot move away or the house will crumble.

I'm made of solid rock and my choice, for sake of them,

Is to be humbled.

In all my sorrows, aches and darkness

I saw no one to compare

And understand my pain.

Until today.

His judgment was my salvation

And we shared each others' pain.

First I got to know Him,

Then I pushed my fears away.

He was brought in chains

While I stood quietly whimpering.

The bucket was removed.

Instead, His body hung violently from it.

"Remove Him!" I cried, "Bring back the bucket!"

No one to hear me.

They angrily whip Him.

He is silent.

I see His face misshapen with pain.

What could He have done to merit this?

The soldiers outdo their torture with

Nothing to gain.

"Who are you?" I asked,

"Whose pain lessens my tribulation?"

Tears roll down His face. He sighs.

No one can steal His peace: our salvation.

"Hold on," I told Him,

"Find solace on my crumbling skin.

Grab on that it may cool your brow

Between the soldier's swings."

He held on tight. We cried

Through the hours of pain and humiliation,

But no longer alone and afraid

To face our destination.

The whipping continued.

What band of animals am I protecting?

I hate them!

Can't they see He's not fighting back; He's hurting?

The whip then missed His back and grabbed

My skin with teeth and claw.

The soldier cursed and forced the whip back.

Now I felt the horror I saw.

The next soldier hits his mark

and blood from the Suffering One hits me.

Strange. Fear leaves me

And pain with peace coexist.

One more soldier in line to finish the torture;

The strongest and meanest.

He kills when the weak are down.

A merciless heart trying to kill our future.

"Release my Friend

Or I'll kill you all!"

But the Sufferer moans and whispers,

"No. You must stand tall."

Surprised at His answer I justified my anger,

"But, Sir, no one defends You!"

I saw His eyes. I saw my sins.

"Lord, I helped to condemn You!"

He's been taken away.

What did He do to deserve such agony.

What have they done with Him? Maybe, they'll set Him free?

"Crucify Him!" was their heartfelt decree.

The First Station of the Via Crucis at St. Peter's Scranton Cathedral.
The First Station of the Via Crucis at St. Peter's Scranton Cathedral. | Source
Rafael's The Transfiguration.   A peak at God's glory ever-present in the New Jerusalem
Rafael's The Transfiguration. A peak at God's glory ever-present in the New Jerusalem | Source

Why didn't He run? Why didn't He fight?

He showed no fear, no anger.

He chose to die.

I can't stand it any longer!

Where is my Friend?

I miss Him.

I can't wait until this house crumbles.

Then, I don't need to protect this band of angry...

Angry. He was not angry.

Greater injustice I have not seen.

Carried with greater peace and sympathy for those who suffered less than He:


I will to stand until He returns for me.

Once the house crumbles, my mission to shield over

And my pride humbled

I'll meet Him once more.

I'll lay collapsed in pieces and forgotten

And remember His blood mingling with my being.

I'll forgive those who hurt me and wait for

His hands to touch me and stand me tall in the new Jerusalem.


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