© Hilary F. Marckx, all rights reserved
Left alone, deserted, cast aside, discarded,
dropped, dumped, eighty-sixed, eliminated,
forgotten, forsaken, given up, jilted,
left in the lurch, neglected, outcast,
rejected, relinquished, shunned:
these are synonyms for the experience of the Cross.
In some way or other,
at some point in our lives,
we’ve all been here.
Many around us live in singularity,
alone and lost to others,
ignored and discarded:
The mentally ill,
Victims of violence afraid to step forward.
Outsiders who become aliens
to even their own families,
for reasons of interracial marriages,
same/trans/bi-gender love and commitments,
for living out who they are.
There are times when the choice for
education, sobriety—growing up,
forces one into a sense of abandonment,
and a descent into the dark of depression.
We experience this cross at times ourselves;
and it is emotional, psychological, financial, physical, spiritual,
leaving us feeling empty and drained.
Loss of job, home, youth, health, love, security—hope—
and we sink into the despair of the Abandoned.
But there is hope precisely because there is the Cross,
and in the Idea of the Cross,
we discover that Jesus’ integrity and love
was so unconditionally faithful to God’s own truth,
that he was willing to
stand before the forces of despair,
hang on the cross, abandoned and deserted,
out of a commitment to love so strong,
so powerful, so enduring,
that we, in our own time,
can find ourselves
touched, understood, held, defended,
cherished, and no longer abandoned,
by a God who has been here before
and so companions us
through our time of need.