into the arms of Christ

In the Christian tradition, the Christ is the beginning and the end and the one in whom all things hold together.

This is our faith. This is the promise that binds us together in love with all creation and assures us that we cannot be separated —

Even by death.

We profess these things with words we read aloud and words we pray silently — perhaps without even thinking much about what they really mean.

And then, in an instant, the full meaning of this mystery of faith is upon us. In our utter disbelief in what is unfolding before us, the words we once said or read or sang become the very presence of the one in whom all things hold together.

We are given refuge. We are comforted — not by the reversing of the event that shatters us or an assurance that our pain will never return — but by the sheer presence of a love that overcomes the darkness. A love that courses through our bodies as we cling to each other in our inconsolable grief. A love that pounds and resounds in our collective hearts beating wildly against each other’s chests as we cry out —

“Lord, have mercy on us!”

Here in our devastating brokenness — emptied of every ounce of our own power to change what is now our reality here in this world — we feel a power surging forth and we know we are not the source of this power. We cannot be. We lay immobilized on the very ground of our being.

Julie Ann Stevens

And yet.

We are also aware of a courage within that somehow gives us freedom from the tyranny of our suffering. We can feel our hearts being lifted ever so gently. We know it to be true — without being able to explain or defend it— that death cannot kill that which never dies.

This is the mystery of our faith.

2 thoughts on “into the arms of Christ

  1. The Office of the Post

    I was in the Dead Sea
    When I found your letter
    Encased in glass,
    As I scrolled down,
    There appeared the diaphanous,
    Outspread arms of Christ.
    After all these years
    Still waiting in the cave of our hearts.

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