Walking Through the Pain

Today’s readings have always been confusing to me: first there is the tale of the Israelites complaining about being in the desert with bad food, so God sends seraph serpents that bite them. The cure turns out to be raising the very cause of the bites, the serpent, up and gazing at it. ( Book of Numbers 21:4-9) — and the second is from the Gospel of John 8:21-30, where Jesus essentially indicates that we must look at him (and his suffering) to come to know God (I AM.)

Of late, it seems though, that begin to get a glimpse of understanding. For much of my life I have tried to sidestep those things that make me angry, to avoid the people and things that are hurtful. In retrospect, it really did me no favors. For that matter, it seems to have been at the root of my episodes with depression. The way out proved to be shining a light into those dark corners, looking closely at the monsters and basically walking through the fear and pain instead of pushing it aside or trying to bury it. The way to God seems to be by looking at and absorbing the cross in order to get to the Resurrection.

I’ll be pondering this as we are rapidly approaching Holy Week –Palm Sunday through the Cross to Easter.