Eli, Eli

           My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
                      —Psalm 22.1

          Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?”
                    —Matthew 27.46

To you who despair, here is the voice of hope.
God has not abandoned Jesus, or turned away.
(There is no suffering God does not look upon, or share.)
The mystery of the cross is that both you and God hang on it.
It is you repeating the ancient cry of our deepest horror:
the fear that God doesn’t know where you are,
and doesn’t care, the fear that you are alone
and unaccounted for in this cold world.
But on the cross it is also God.
God knows what it is to feel abandoned by God.
God is with you in that terrible aloneness.
Your longing is God.
Nothing, even the sense God has abandoned you,
can separate you from God.
God is there in your feeling forsaken,
your feeling of unworthiness,
your life as small as a grave
in the great wideness of this world.
God is with you there in that tiny, dark alone place.
And that cross, that tomb, because God is in it,
is unable to be final or complete,
unable even merely to be what it appears to be at all.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
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