Good Friday

The cross is a mirror. 
It shows us what we are not, 
as well as what we are; 
the embodiment of God, 
the epitome of humanity: 
images mundane and immortal 
in one body.
The cross is a mirror. 

The cross is a mirror.  
The hammer falls 
and innocent flesh is torn 
and cannot be pieced back together; 
we see it in the reflective 
surfaces of tv screens 
and mobile devices 
screaming murder; 
in blurry tears; we 
can no longer tell apart 
war movies from the news. 
The cross is our mirror. 

The cross is our mirror:
the mockers and the mourners, 
beloveds and betrayers, 
little despots and disciples of despair; 
humanity at breaking point. 
God breaks down
and weeps with us:
Your sins cover me 
with purple
and scarlet 
and thorns. Why 
have you forsaken me, 
and are so far from me?
The cross is God’s mirror. 

The cross is God’s mirror, 
love laid out like a specimen 
laid open for all to see, 
the love of God for creation, 
bleeding into the tree,
spilling inane forgiveness 
like water over
a mostly insensate crowd.
The cross is a mirror.

The cross is a mirror. 
As we kneel before it, 
transfixed at least by our own
sinful glory, 
if not by the mystery of mercy, 
the enormity of grace, 
even to us, 
deep within its background 
graves are opening, 
saints emerging, wondering 
who it is has called them out, 
and what they might do 
The cross is their mirror.

About Rosalind C Hughes

Rosalind C Hughes is a priest and author living near the shores of Lake Erie. After growing up in England and Wales, and living briefly in Singapore, she is now settled in Ohio. She serves an Episcopal church just outside Cleveland. Rosalind is the author of A Family Like Mine: Biblical Stories of Love, Loss, and Longing , and Whom Shall I Fear? Urgent Questions for Christians in an Age of Violence, both from Upper Room Books. She loves the lake, misses the ocean, and is finally coming to terms with snow.
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