Dion's random ramblings

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

'Walk' the stations of the Cross online - a meaningful cyberfaith.

Before I offer the link to St Paul's Church where one can 'walk the stations of the cross' online, please allow me to offer some personal reflection on the significance of this ministry.

Since my accident 4 and a bit weeks ago I have struggled with the frustration of not being able to get around! First, it is not only difficult to get around on my crutches, it is also quite painful to 'sling' my leg around (getting up stairs, sitting down, standing up, having my leg swell up because it is not elevated, having people bump it etc.). Having broken this leg 3 times already means that I am quite adept at using crutches - I calculated that I have spent about a year on crutches so far (between 3 breaks, and one instances where I tore the ligaments in the ankle). Moreover, I am blessed with good upper body strength (you may not know this, but I was ONCE (in a much younger day) a champion power lifter (squats, bench press, and clean and jerk). In short, I am able to move around on crutches much more effectively and easily than many other people who are either older, having to learn how to use crutches for the first time, or lack the upper body strength to get around.

In spite of this, it is difficult to 'walk' anything more than a few hundred meters. One is always anticipating whether there will be some rest point at your destination, or somewhere along the way.

A further frustration is being dependent upon the good graces of others to get anywhere outside of my home. We are not blessed with accessible (or injury / handicap friendly) public transport. It would be near impossible to get my leg into a South African 'taxi', since I cannot bend either my ankle or my knee, and would have to be lifted into the vehicle by others. So, I rely on kind colleagues, good friends, neighbors, my students, and my saint of a wife, to take me to the people and places I need to get to. Frequently their schedules do not line up with mine, and so I end up waiting for an hour or two to be collected, or have to try and arrange a later or earlier appointment on the other side. This is not to mention the fact that getting my leg into a car is a challenge in itself!

Thankfully, my slight injury will pass! The doctor says 12-18 weeks from the date of the injury and I will be free of the crutches!

However, there are many others, many that I have been praying for, who do not have that hope. Some are confined to wheelchairs, others are confined to their beds. Some struggle with permanent physical disabilities, and others are simply too ill to leave their beds.

I have become so aware of the fact that in spite of such challenges one still desires to experience the blessing of faith, the joy of fellowship, and the encouragement of spiritual engagement.

So, when I received the link to 'walk' the stations of the cross on the internet I was not filled with skepticism, as I have been in the past. This time I had been humbled by God to realise that this is not a gimmick... Rather, it is a chance for many people who cannot move about with ease to engage in a centuries old spiritual tradition that will help them to focus upon, and consider, the depth of the Easter miracle - that God in Christ would come in fragile human form, suffer agony and rejection, die our common death, yet rise triumphantly to eternal life.

I am grateful to be able to 'walk' the stations of the cross this year in spite of my leg! I thank God for the opportunity. Perhaps a 3G modem, a data projector and a laptop would help you to share this wonderful blessing with your congregation - perhaps for those folks in frail care center who won't make it to your Easter service. Or maybe just a laptop and a modem taken to a friend in a hospital, or someone who is home bound. Maybe just sending this link to a mother whose care of her infant children does not allow her to go to 'regular' Church services (because the sensibilities of the 'older folks' are upset when Children act their age in Church) might be a great blessing to her this Easter.

Thank you to St Paul's United Church in Houston Texas. Your ministry has blessed me.

To 'walk' the stations of the cross online please follow the link below. Pray for me, even as I pray for you.

Click here to walk the stations of the cross.

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