“I am the way, the truth, and the life.” John 14:6
Praying the Stations of the Cross has always been one of my favorite Lenten practices. One of my earliest school memories was gathering in the auditorium on the Fridays of Lent to pray through the stations together. As we walked from station to station, our voices would join together in the Stabat Mater, the beautiful Marian hymn that begins with the words “At the cross her station keeping.” To this day, when we have a more normal lent in school, teaching my students how to pray the stations is one of my top priorities.
This I am statement reminds me that the way of the Christian is the way of the cross. When we say yes to Christ, we are asked to pick up our cross and follow him. While I’ve heard all sorts of cutesy stories about God tayloring our crosses to us, they don’t match the way I see God. I don’t see God and Jesus poring over my life looking for the perfect way to strengthen me through hardship and pain. Instead, because our world is broken by sin, I see a God who knew we would deal with much hardship and pain, so he became one of us to show us the way through our suffering, the truth about how much he loves us, and the life he has planned for us.
In this I am statement, Jesus reminds me that while finding my way in life can feel murky and unknown, as long as I know him, I know the way. I just need to keep living and loving and trusting. When the world offers me many versions of “truth” I can remember that truth is a person, and he promises me that knowing the truth will set me free (John 8:32). And like he said just after the previous I am statements, Jesus came that I might have life, and an abundant life in him. Jesus offers me a path of clarity and renewal. All I have to do is follow.
For today: I will look for the ways Jesus is with me in this time of hardship and quarantine. I will celebrate the abundant life I have by gratitude and time with my family. I will pray the Stations of the Cross with my husband and son.