A wonderful Christian writer and artist accused me of having grit this past week. Grit is one of those words you can take as a good or a bad thing…as in Rooster Cogburn tough, or John Sebastian dirty. Whether she meant it this way or not, I’ve always thought of it as a quality of willingness to get down and dirty, most always at your own expense, for higher purpose…for truth, justice, and the American Way. I added the “American Way” cherry to send my Progressive friends into a tither. Grit…yup, you don’t want to meet me here as anything other than a friend to these ideals…any friend of His, so the saying goes. Thanks to my friend for helping to seed today’s SMTU!
Calvary was indisputably the most consequential stage in all of human history. Watching the Passion of the Christ on this Good Friday past, the Good Thief stood out to me as never before. Also, I saw Calvary as a “Preview” of something even greater yet to come, this time.
Courage, resolve, and strength of character are the qualities associated with the word “grit”.
“My heart splintered watching Notre-Dame go up in flames. The disorder of my own responses—a jumble of dismay, anger, and foreboding—permits no tidy structure. What follows is a series of thoughts in no strict sequence. Bear with me.” ~ “Scattered Notes on Notre-Dame” by Maureen Mullarkey
So, as it occurs to me, we are all…every last one of us approaching Calvary a second time around. And we are all the same players acting the same parts as on that same stage two thousand years ago. We are the same heartless soldiers, mocking and scorning him. We are the same friends in hiding. And we are the same family suffering with him every step of the way. We are the same fearful, dispassionate, indifferent, angry and confused mob nailing the heart of courage, resolve and strength of character to the cross all over again…
“The other good news, we have to admit this was an accident. I think all of us at the beginning thought, oh, no, this is a terrorist act…thank God that didn’t happen.” ~ Cardinal Dolan
“Not on my watch!” ~ Shep Smith
The former betrays his flock, as the latter slips the dagger into the heart of his own profession…casting their lots for all eternity. Calculate thirty pieces of silver…factoring inflation. And it may as well be stink bug dust…
And then there is the one of us, who is the ALL of us. And woe to any of us who see ourselves as anything more than a common thief in the light of His infinite love, mercy, and grace. But truly, in this hour, what separates the Good Thief from the Bad? Most all of the dozen had scattered. “Do you now believe? Indeed, the hour is coming…that you…will leave Me alone.” With the mob frenzied against Him, the soldiers mocking Him, and the Bad Thief taunting Him, the one of us I pray to be the ALL of us, managed to stand…nailed to his own cross…as he was…to defend Him. Grit.