Friday, March 28, 2008

What are you trying to prove?

I came to be a spectator, but how can one just sit back and watch? My heart broke when I saw her. I couldn’t help but wonder why she was doing this. Who knows how long she had been carrying that load on her shoulder. You could tell by her face that she was in pain, but she refused to allow anyone to take this burden from her. I don't know her name, where she's from or her story, but I do believe she was trying to pay for something...

This woman was one of the four carrying the statue of the Virgin Mary in the Good Friday procession. I don’t know why she caught my eye so quickly. Maybe it was that her side dropped a bit due to the fact that she was a bit shorter than the other 3 men holding the statue. Maybe it was how she pushed people off who tried to carry it for her. Or maybe it was the pain I saw in her face. Whatever it was, this was the pain I saw on many a face during “Semana Santa.”

I’m used to Easter being a joyful time celebrating the resurrection of Christ, but Easter here is no big deal. Good Friday on the other hand is when everyone drops everything to remember the Lord’s death.

I got the privilege of sharing this day with Irma (one of our cooks at El Sendero) and her family. There are specific foods that are reserved for this day. Friday lunch starts out with a soup called Fanesca (grains, yucca, beans and a whole bunch of other stuff I didn’t recognize), followed by really salty fish, rice, and platano. They usually don’t eat anything for dinner… just a cut of coffee and a piece of bread.

That night was the procession with the statues of Jesus and the Virgin Mary that I talked about early. Then a reenactment of Jesus and the thieves carrying their crosses… followed by soldiers whipping and mocking them. It was definitely an experience to remember.

Semana Santa was a time to remember Jesus’ death, but it means nothing unless he rose from the dead show he had power over death and save us from our sin. That woman, like so many others was trying to prove her love for her Savior. What I pray she one day realizes is how through his death and resurrection he was proving his love for her.

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