The image above is from an Atlantic City church, taken nearly two years after Hurricane Sandi gutted the place. An ABCNJ work team was on site the day I took the photo 1, there was still an entire wing of the building which couldn’t be entered without breathing masks, it was that dangerous to humans.
The image of sunlight pouring through the cross, and into a scene of devastation only beginning a process of rebuilding, reminds me of the call of discipleship. Following Jesus means self-denial, not as an end but as a means. That which we deny to ourselves is meant to be given to others as a blessing. Indeed, this is partly the purpose of the self-denial of Lent. The energy we’d spend on good things for our own well-being, is meant to be released into the lives of others in Jesus’ name. It’s a beautiful idea.
It’s not a discipline at which I’m particularly gifted, but I do strive to give myself to well being of those who surround me – friend, acquaintance, or even enemy. The cross is a call of hope and service and life for all. Redemption bears a cross.
- I helped by taking photos, we didn’t want the place to completely fall down. ↩