The Cross is the Mirror of My Soul

by Fr. Ted Bobosh

Standing at the foot of the Cross,
   behold, what do I see?
There is sorrow, fear, grief, a tortured and ugly man.
The Holy Prophet Isaiah rightly said this man who would die 
  on the Cross
Would have no beauty, nothing that would cause us to want
  him.
He was right.
I shudder and wish to back away.
Lord, love me some other way.

Standing at the foot of the Cross, behold, I do see
The Man whom we have rejected, and no wonder he's as ugly 
   as sin.
There dying on the Cross is all we hate about this world
And each other
And about ourselves.
For somehow the Crucified One
is revealing myself to me.

Standing at the foot of the Cross,
my eyes are opened wider.
What is dying there in torment, pain and sorrow
Is not just a man
But the world.
He is all that the world has become.
He on the Cross carries the world, 
its transgressions and mine.
What is awful and ugly there is what is awful and ugly in me.
For the Cross indeed is but a mirror of my soul.
All that I see there is but a reflection of what is in me.

Standing at the foot of the Cross, I want to close my eyes
For the pain, the shame and the sorrow are now mine.
The repulsive sins which I see on his face belong to me.
He carries the sins of all of us,
They are not his.
That ugly man of sorrows is also the God of love.

Standing at the foot of the Cross, my eyes fill with tears.
He is bearing my sins and my Cross.
He dies because of me and for me.
His outstretched arms are not dead or powerless but
  welcoming.
He is lifting us out of the despair of death.

Standing at the foot of the Cross, now my eyes are opened
  wider.
The fear, the grief, the pain, the sorrow and the Cross
Are signs of God's love.
Our God acts in such mysterious ways.
No death to the sinners, but death for His Son.
For the Lord God is with us.
He reaches down to the depths of our despair.
I hear the words, "Do not be afraid. I forgive you."
And I am humbled by the humility of God on the Cross.

Standing at the foot of the Cross, now I do see.
There is righteousness and justice here,
But it is God's not the world's.
And the agony of this man bearing sins has been transfigured
  before my eyes.
For the Cross is now empty,
Yet now its wood is full of life.
As I stare at the Cross, behold I see only God's love for His
  world.

Standing at the foot of the Cross, behold, what do I see?
That Cross of the Lord Jesus is not only full of life but life 
  giving.
It is budding forth like Paradise bursting with delights.
And now I know the way of the Cross.
I know it is time for me to take it up without fear or complaint.
For in bearing this Cross, I will love,
And God's love will abide in me.

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[This poem was originally printed in Essays and Notes - Volume 2, no. 2 -(Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery, 1996).]

 

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