As an Episcopalian, I heard one very fine sermon today from
our lectionary about Jesus as the “good shepherd,” and now I’ve
read other good sermons online.
We have a marvelous stained glass window in my church. My photo may not be great, but the window is.
beautiful Jesus, tenderly carrying a beautiful lamb.
This window got personal for
me a couple of years ago during a “quiet retreat” in my parish. I happened to sit just below this
window. In my long, quiet time of prayer
and reflection, that window, that image spoke to me. I found myself identifying with that beautiful,
vulnerable lamb, and I wished to be cradled and carried in safety and love. Internally,
I found myself shouting in anger at that tender Jesus in the stained glass
window: “Where the hell were you when I needed to be cradled and carried??” I’m not delusional. I’m not given to
visions. But, my friends, it was like I
heard Jesus quietly responding to me out of that glass: “And when did you give
up your ego and your pride and allow me to carry you?”
Wherever it came from, that
voice of response was scathingly true. Much
as I long to be nurtured and tended and carried and cared for, my stiff necked
ego just can’t give in
and let myself be nurtured and carried. I want it. Oh, God, how I want it! But the thought of yielding – the thought of
being vulnerable and needy and meek and defenseless – it scares me to
death. It scares me to death!
So about three years after
that “silent retreat” in my parish … 3 years after that “conversation” with
this image … I still confront this
stained glass window every Sunday. Jesus
and I are still arguing. I with my conflicted desires, and Jesus with his