Maundy Thursday: Are You in the Garden Today?

It seems like every year on Maundy Thursday that I have myself a WTF moment and know exactly how Jesus felt in the Garden of Gethsemane.

My mother is terminally ill, and one of the winning lottery tickets was sold in the tiny town where I was born.  So, I’ve had a lot of chats this week with my godmother.

She shared that a young girl at her church crafted a cross for her out of a palm frond during Palm Sunday services.  I asked her if she wanted my collection of crosses.  I confided that I don’t like it as a religious symbol.  Why do we celebrate the betrayal, suffering, and crucifixion rather than the sunrise on Easter morning?

As a child abuse survivor, I question why religious leaders chose a symbol that is a constant reminder of the triumph of evil and the abuse of power.

The world’s other major religions chose a symbol that reminds their followers that good ultimately wins out.  Why can’t we have an Easter sunrise as our symbol ~ the triumph of resurrection?

I think most abuse survivors are intimately familiar with how Jesus felt in that Garden.  We know all about betrayal and abandonment when we need help the most.  Some of us feel like we’ve had our own time on the cross.  Yet, the experience reveals the strength of our faith and our character.  We find a way to survive, to heal, and to become an inspiration to those who are currently walking in our shoes.

I was in PTSD hell last night.  I woke up this morning knowing that somebody has to make a decision about the computer that I use to maintain this site.  So, I made it.  I took control of my destiny.  60% of abuse survivors are on welfare.  80% of us have been homeless.  It is costing the government a fortune.  Our health deteriorates due to the stress of dealing with the ridiculously dysfunctional system.

The system isn’t going to change unless we unite to demand change.  I think a good place to start is to ask why our religious symbols celebrate the crucifixion rather than the resurrection.

Love always prevails.  Good tends to ultimately triumph over evil.  It is the time in the valley that’s tough.  I don’t know about y’all, but I’m more than ready for some time in the Promised Land.

Thank you, Facebook friends, for the beautifully inspiring images that illustrate this post.

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