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Bear Your Cross

Written in 1997.

Bear Your Cross

An allegory of the passion and crucifixion of Christ, in the midst of His love for those that made Him suffer.

We were wondrously in love: she cared for me and I for her.  There was no limit to our joys and happiness together; the future looked very bright indeed.  This night had been in the planning for ages–it was time that I showed my true love for her, that we consummated everything we had.  Everything would go perfectly, like a well-written play, the action steadily rising until the climax.  Yes, this would be a night to remember, perhaps changing everything between the two of us–for the better.  No fear, no turning back, the hour is here.

I left to pick her up, and after a nice dinner, the real evening began.  The first stage was to go to the beach.  The perfect setting for our one-act play: quiet, dark, alone–time to think about what would be happening soon.

She looked at me with a smile when we got out of the car, and I knew what she wanted.  Far be it from my queen to have to walk to the water’s edge–a piggy-back ride was in order.  She mounted my shoulders, and that’s when it began.  The burden was almost unbearable, weighing heavily upon me, sapping me of my strength and will to continue, but what choice did I have?  This is how it was going to be.

We got to the beach, I set her down, looked into her eyes, and tenderly grabbed her hand.  I felt a burning sensation flow up my arm, not the warmth of the touch of love, but the scourge of hatred.  My hand was scalding, but I had no choice, I must bear it, for this is the way it has to be.  No turning back now.

Amidst the pain, we began to walk.  My feet were seared, as though we were walking upon hot coals.  Every step was with immense effort, as if moving forward was a painful necessity for life.  Inwardly I cringed, but we continued on.

A gentle breeze then blew.  The water was kicked up into my face like spit from an angry spectator.  Jealousy?  Hatred?  Ignorance?  Why was I being so attacked?  Disgusting true, but this was our evening, and nothing would get in the way.

We stopped our walk, the moon behind us, illuminating little, but I imagine, silhouetting us nicely.  I brought her close, and she ran her fingers through my forelock.  I could have sworn that she undammed a river of warm blood then.  I could feel it running down my forehead, seeping into open wounds, stinging like the serpent.  My face must have portrayed nothing, for she only looked into my eyes, a slight smile upon her lips.  She brought her hand slowly down my face, tracing my lips with her finger.  My senses were consumed as though by vinegar, the taste invading my mouth, the smell penetrating my nostrils, repulsing me, yet I was not free to go.  The disgust forced me to stay.

Her hand continued down, reaching the top button of my shirt.  Slowly, unbuttoning one by one, I felt as though a gamble were taking place, that she was greedily stripping me of my possessions, capturing a trophy of the day’s memory, and laughing all the while.  Who can see the difference between the coy and evil?  If only the black survivor’s husband could see beforehand, would he still do it?  I did not have that choice.  It was indeed now, or never.

Her task complete, we laid down upon the sand.  Her hair was braided, the locks tipped with beads.  My back was naked, and she dragged those locks ever so slowly across it, again and again, my body shaking, the pain unbelievable.  Did she enjoy this?  Must this be done?  I cannot bear it, but still I must.  Though the hour is nigh, it still has not come.  A moment longer.  My eyelids drifted downward, my being drifting from my body, I felt alone, had she left?  I peeked over my shoulder, watching as she walked away, across the sand, outlined against the moon and ocean, and then the boon of sleep was granted me.  The act was done.

***

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