April 18, 2017

The Cross - Gloria Guest

Turning the page over on the calendar to April this month I was met with a scene of The Cross painted by Thomas Kinkade. The ‘painter of light’ depicted the empty cross high atop Golgotha, a surreal glow emanating from the darkening sky. The Cross, once only seen as an instrument of torture and death has because of Jesus, come to be viewed as representing peace, grace, love, even beauty. Only God can turn something ugly and murderous into something beautiful and life giving.

I’ve never practiced Lent as a form of my faith although I can see much value in it. This past couple of weeks though I found myself in a difficult situation that did require me to sacrifice something and to release it to God.

Our son who serves in the Canadian Armed Forces was senselessly and violently attacked by a gang (not military) while on a training course. He was left with a concussion and a broken jaw that he had to have wired shut for the next six weeks. It was a traumatic experience for him and us. On top of this, his injury made him unfit to complete his course; something that he had been doing very well in. This experience left me as his mother with many emotions to process and a struggle to forgive.

However, as I did start to move through the emotional process I became more and more aware of how God had gone before me and had actually prepared me. It was like He had already turned that page on the calendar  before I even got there. He had already been to The Cross.

Throughout the days leading up to my son’s injury I had watched a number of Easter shows depicting the life of Christ; His ministry, crucifixion and resurrection. Each time I felt amazed when from that cross, Jesus spoke the words,

“Father, forgive them. For they know not what they do.”
Luke 23:34

It was those words that had already found a way into my heart that now surfaced whenever I felt anger and un-forgiveness in my heart towards the perpetrators.

“Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”

They really didn’t. Something evil within them desired to hurt my son, but they had no real understanding of their actions and the ultimate consequences for themselves. My sons wounds will heal, but these people have a deep scar in their hearts that without coming to the cross of Christ, will never heal.

“Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”

Those are not easy words to say. They are only made possible for us by the fact that Jesus said them first; to a world scarred by sin; a world with no hope of healing without the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and His life giving resurrection. He said them first to me.

God moves ahead of us. He turns the page before we do. Only God could turn the Cross, something so ugly, into an instrument of peace and love. Only God can take my pain and through the finished work of The Cross, birth grace and healing into my life.

“Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”


  1. Praying for your son's recovery and for your peace in this situation.

  2. What a difficult story to write, I'm sure. Raw pain is felt in your words and yet we also see how God turns ashes into beauty. So sorry this happened to your son. I'll pray for a speedy recovery. Physically and emotionally for your son and family. My heart goes out you! When our children hurt - we hurt too. I do love how you see God turning the pages in your life and how he walked before you. There are so many painful, yet wonderful elements to this story that you have been able to share with us. Forgiveness doesn't always exude so easily when we feel someone is undeserving of it and yet your words show that you are on your way. God will see you through this.

  3. I am so sorry to hear of this traumatic attack that your son, and consequently his family, undeservedly experienced. I pray that there will be healing physically, spiritually and emotionally for all of you, and especially for your son, who is now "unfit" to complete his course. May you and your family be blessed by your praying, "Father, forgive them (the attackers), for they know not what they do.

    What a wonderful images of God going before you during Lent. We must be thankful for God going before us as he did, literally, when he led the Israelites by a pillar of cloud in the day and by a pillar of fire in the night. He still can go before us today.

  4. Thank you Gloria for such a word picture of God's grace. I too pray that your son will enjoy his health and life again soon. I pray also you have the peace that passes all understanding in spite of such violence. Take care my friend!

  5. I'm so sorry to hear about this senseless attack on your son, Gloria. I pray he has a swift recovery and hope he has no lasting ill effects. You are showing us exemplary forgiveness and mercy in an extremely hurtful situation when it would be so easy to give in to bitterness and wrath.

  6. Gloria, my "mother's heart" is beating with compassion for concern for your son. How difficult to let him go into the military in this day, but how much more difficult to have him injured in this way. Bless you for seeing God's grace in the situation, and for sharing this viewpoint with us. (((hugs)))

  7. "God moves ahead of us. He turns the page before we do." I appreciate those words. Forgiveness is always easier in theory, you have chosen to practice grace.


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