I was in my yard on Friday and snapped this picture. You can see a red leaf maple, some poplars, one of our sheep and the horse corral in the background. What you can’t see is about 17 other trees – all of which are dropping leaves like crazy.
Raking leaves. This is the part about fall I hate. It’s also an excellent reason to have children.
It’s possible to simultaneously experience two distinctly different feelings about something. I love fall, but hate the hours spent raking leaves. And I love ice cream, but hate stepping on the scale the next morning.
So when I think about the cross, it’s heartbreaking to remember what Jesus had to endure. And yet . . . I also experience joy. And gratitude. I’ve been forgiven.
Last year, I recorded the classic hymn “O Sacred Head Now Wounded” and wrote an additional chorus called “How Can I Thank You.” I’ve always been moved by the lines “What language shall I borrow / to thank Thee, dearest Friend.” In the context of a song about His suffering and death, that line leaps out at me; there are no words sufficient to express our mixed feelings – regret, sorrow, joy, relief . . . and gratitude.
The cross is both terrible and strangely beautiful.