Thursday, April 15, 2010

Experiencing Christ's unbounded affection for me

While watching the British sitcom After You've Gone, which, while funny, is not really very good as it is too much like a U.S. tv show for my taste and not in the good way, like Sanford and Son, I saw something that moved me. The main character, Jimmy, whose flaws constitute the heart of the show, has made a mistake. He is trying to explain it to his girlfriend, Siobhan, in a very self-justifying way. Cutting to the chase, she tells him, "You're an idiot." He pauses, thinking, then nods his head in the affirmative and humbly confesses, "Yes." Siobhan then does something very unexpected, she smiles a big, warm smile and gives him a big, affectionate, and affirming hug. I was moved because not only have I been there and done that, but I had a similar experience just last week. I am so blessed to have a wife who shows me the face of Christ so often that I can never really forget the great affection He has for me, His idiot deacon.

From after the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday until the Vigil the only music I listened to, apart from chant at Morning Prayer on Holy Saturday, was Tom Waits' Mule Variations. In this context one song stands out, Get Behind the Mule, which contains these lyrics: "Well the rampaging sons of the widow James, Jack the cutter and the pock marked kid, had to stand naked at the bottom of the cross and tell the good Lord what they did." It's significant that as He hung on the cross Jesus' arms are open in embrace. It is only an embrace instead of brutal torture because Jesus abandoned his own will in obedience to the Father. In the words of a little book written several ago by Max Lucado, He Chose the Nails and He chose them for me out of great love, the only power stronger than my sins and inevitable death. Being quite idiotic at times is part of who I am and I have no problem with this as long as I am Christ's idiot.

Christos Anesti

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