Every year I say it. I’m going to pray the Stations of the Cross. And every year I become stuck on one station, and don’t make it through the rest. I skip over some, and never make it to others.
One year it was Jesus Carries His Cross; and another it was Simon Helps Jesus Carry His Cross. One particularly important year in my life it was Jesus Promises His Kingdom to the Repentant Thief (because to me it represented the hope of the repentant thief).
This year, the station that is resonating with me is Jesus is Stripped of His Garments. I honestly never gave this station much thought. If anything, it made me uncomfortable to read, to think about, or to see portrayed in television and movie versions. Because of that, I’d skip over it, ignore it or pretend it didn’t exist.
This year the station brings to mind one word for me: dignity. Perhaps I’ve matured, or my perspective has changed, or maybe it’s because dignity is being discussed more; whatever the reason, I empathize with Jesus. I feel that everyone at some point in their life has felt their dignity has been taken away or has suffered to some degree. For example, maybe you have felt your dignity stripped away to varying degrees from bullying, abuse, a badly timed joke, or an insensitive comment.
Can you imagine how Jesus might have felt? Here He is, the Son of God, stripped of the last shreds of His human dignity before a crowd that wants to see Him dead, before His mother, and His closest friends. Of course it is impossible to know how Jesus felt, but if I were in that situation, I think it would be unbearable. But Jesus was willing to endure that for us.
I think that it’s okay if we don’t make it through all the stations. Maybe one station will resonate with you this Lent like this one does for me. Stay there; perhaps that is where Jesus wants you to be—with Him showing how much He loves you.