I Thirst.

I sit on the dirt and feel the grains pressing into my palms. I lean across the ground and struggling to breathe. A drop of crimson falls on to my right index finger and I look up. The image before me is too much to bear. It isn’t the sun that burns my eyes, but the pain of a man. My friend, my brother, my God, my Savior. I had been keeping my head down to this point, but that one drop of blood caused me to look up. It was too personal to have a part of Him reach out for me, and for me not to return the favor, by glancing at His face. His teeth are clenched. He is in pain, it is obvious. He strains to pull himself up once again for a gasp of air. I wish I could lift Him. I think about all of those times in my weakest moments, in my darkest hours, when He was the one who pulled me back up again. Here we are now, and I am of no help. I can do nothing.

The last time we spent together before this day was one of my best memories. It was the day I told Him everything. The day I told Him all of the things I had done, all of the things I had wished for, all of the ways I had been let down in my life. He listened so patiently and encouraged me to keep going. He just wanted to hear me, my story, my hurt. Afterwards we had prayed together. He embraced me and I felt as though I had been missing something all along, that was somehow fulfilled right then and there.

I wish I could be the one to embrace Him now. I fear I’d hurt Him more than help Him. It looks as if every bone in His body is distorted, cracked, bruised, broken. I’d thought about taking the spear of one of the soldiers or trying to push them away when they were thrusting Him to the ground. I know it would be of no use, and He wouldn’t want it. I belong here, at the foot of the Cross.

My sweet Savior, so innocent and pure, now covered in blood and dirt, and my sin.

His head leans back against the wood and He cries, “I thirst.” I gasp at first, as they are the first words I have heard from Him since He spoke to the women on the way to where we are now. Just hearing His voice causes my heart to leap in my chest, but it soon falls again, realizing the ache in His voice. An ache that echoes in my very soul.

I wonder if He thirsts for water, or for the wine we had the last time we met and were together. Perhaps He thirsts for justice, that this cruel thing shouldn’t be done to Him. He could be thirsting for God to take Him, for it all to be over. But one resounding thought pulses within my chest: He thirsts for me.

Here I had been, on my knees before Him all day long. Enshrouded by the darkness, pain, and suffering. I had barely even looked up. When His blood rested on my finger and I gazed up at His face, that holy face, I knew He thirsted for me.

The way He had listened, the things He had taught me, the unbelievable love that He just kept showing me, even when I proved I didn’t deserve it. All this, because He wanted me. He knew my shame. He knew I couldn’t do it on my own. So He did it for me. He endured every sorrow for my behalf, just to win me over.

His eyes focus on me one last time, and say again silently, “I thirst.” I nod and gently lean forward, placing my lips upon His bloodied feet, accepting His invitation.

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