“He, because of the joy that was set before him, endured the cross and despised the shame…”
Easter has always been one of my favorite holidays for many different reasons.
When I was a child, it was because of the pretty dresses, the colored eggs and Easter baskets.
As a young adult, it was definitely the message of hope that was, and still is, in the Resurrection story. The fact that a plan that was intended to destroy Jesus actually proved to be the incredible wisdom of God was powerful beyond words to me. In fact, as I look at some places that “appear” to be dead or beyond repair in my life today….I still get excited with the possibilities that I am reminded of when I think of the power of the cross!
This year, I have a deeper and more personal connection to the journey of the cross that I never had before. I can relate to the choice that Jesus made when he DECIDED to endure the cross…and when he DECIDED to DESPISE THE SHAME THAT CAME ALONG WITH THE CROSS.
You see, there is a certain degree of “shame” that is associated with loving someone in prison. It is the shame that causes you to only talk about your loved one to those that already “know your situation” or with those who you think would understand.
It is the shame that causes a mother of four to speak only of her three children, because she doesn’t want to answer any questions about the child in prison.
The shame is real….but so is the decision that I can make to despise, reject, abandon and refuse it!
This year, I recognize that we can focus on the shame….or we can focus on the joy that is coming on the other side of this journey. And I am convinced that there are so many loved ones of inmates who are doing this daily.
Yesterday, I sat in a visitation room that was full to capacity; and I saw so many people there who have made a DECISION to DESPISE THE SHAME…..and to love any way.
I watched an elderly mother on a walker; stand in the doorway with tears rolling down her cheeks until she knew that her son had completely exited the visitation room. I imagine that she knows quite well what it means to despise the shame.
Before yesterday, I had never considered the loved ones of Jesus who were there watching as he ENDURED THE CROSS. I realize they too had to DESPISE THE SHAME that came along with being connected to Him. But I can hardly imagine the joy and victory they experienced when the saw the outcome on the other side of the cross!
Is it an easy choice? No. Do you make that choice one time and for all? I don’t think so.
But each time that we DECIDE TO DESPISE THE SHAME we are one step closer to the other side of the cross.
Today, I am encouraged as remind myself that there is another side to this story! I encourage you to stay focused on the joy that is beyond the cross; and to DECIDE TO DESPISE THE SHAME!