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‘Sitting at the foot of the Cross’ tripped so lightly off the tongue as if there were some redeeming quality in sitting there watching someone suffer torture, for we are the ones who put him there in the first place and we sit in fascination watching the pain, our own pain finding relief with each drop of blood that falls.

Sitting at the foot of the Cross for too long, watching the parade of mutilated children, bodies hacked to pieces by our machines of war, souls stripped of dignity, bellies sunken, spirits sunken from a hunger that could easily be assuaged if we would only, only learn for once to share our bread.

Sitting at the foot of the Cross of Christa, legs forced so wide her body torn in half, her heart torn asunder by the blows, the rapes, of the man who claimed to love her, would take care of her. He took care of her alright. Her eyes stare empty and cold and afraid, waiting for the next blow, her sweat and labour and mind bumping against the glass ceiling, angry fists battering to shatter the glass in her own face for the sake of the children she must feed and clothe and shelter, because the men won’t or don’t, because they drink and smoke and gamble away the nourishment of children.

Sitting at the foot of the Cross as wars wage, as cross and crescent and David’s star and Bodhi trees are born aloft, magic talismans of some god’s protection of some race or land or bank or honour or gender or whatever. The earth is blown apart, in fifty shades of cold grey that seeks to maim and bruise and cut from the earth bright jewels to cover the amulet heart of stone.

Sitting at the foot of the Cross watching the heart of flesh bleed in longing for the rejecting beloved, the object of a Love that is never requited yet goes on thirsting, seeking that cool water of refreshing redemption – and instead receives the bitter gall of betrayal.

Sitting at the foot of the Cross is a bleating lamb, watching and waiting, in stillness, in gentleness, in quiet – gazing upon the desolation of that moment and seeing only the penumbral light of hope, of a coming resurrection, when all the pain and the betrayal disappears, and all that is left is golden light beating with dove-like wings a cleansing fire, burning the chaff until all that is pain, all that is darkness, becomes itself an ember in the fire of the Holy Spirit.