Tag Archive: passion of the Christ


i feel like the previous few Easters have kind of passed me by with not too much impact – being the easily recognised dreadlock wearing Easter Bunny at the Simple Way is all i can remember and i’m not sure where i was the year before but in the middle of preparation to leave for the Simple Way and so life was a fair bit chaotic…

the last Easter that comes to mind was when my good buddy Mark Baker encouraged us to watch ‘The Passion of the Christ’ by Mel Gibson with our Sunday nite enGAGE congregation in Stellenbosch. i feel like i might have initially done it more to humour him than because i thought it was a good idea, but remember being powerfully affected again by the very violent depiction of Jesus’ flogging and death [i really feel like the cross can become this fluffy comfortable symbol we hold to but lose all meaning of if we forget the very violence and real sacrifice it depicts]

the stations of the cross

so as we started heading towards Easter in Oakland i really wanted it to be meaningful and so spent some time this week reading the end of John’s Gospel and some of Jesus’ last acts, words and prayers. last nite we jumped at the chance to join some new friends of ours to head to a church for a ‘stations of the cross’ experience where we walked around in small groups [we joined a family of five with three cool young kids] and then read scripture, reflected and did an action and a prayer connected to different aspects of Jesus last week leading up to His death.

i find it interesting that when the one station invited us to kiss the figure of Jesus on the cross [i chose not to] that it felt more weird for me than later when we were asked to spit at the figure of Jesus on the cross [i chose not to do that either, but more following the lead of Val] – as if the betrayal hidden behind a kiss seems somehow so much worse than the outwardly open betrayal of showing your true colours through spitting.

[i wonder if that is because i can’t think of any time in my life when i have outwardly or openly joined the crowd in being against Jesus in any way or form, but there are countless times where my innocent looking actions have shown a deeper betrayal in what has been going on in my heart or somewhere else behind the scenes. a subtle hypocritical betrayal somehow feels so much worse… and so time and time again i hear the cock crow and have that moment of looking up and seeing Jesus’ eyes pierce through me as i realise once again i have done that which i said i never would, and i end up behind a wall somewhere crying out as Jesus is lead once more to the cross by my actions]

Pilate washes his hands

Pilot’s washing of his hands affected me deeply as it did my wife Val [which you can, and should, read here] as i took it on myself to explain it to the children who were with us, specifically Kayla, the oldest daughter. the idea of “making no decision” because the decision you know you should make has consequences which just feel too extreme for you. being reminded that ‘making no decision’ is always making a decision.

apartheid. racism. violence towards women. rape culture. discrimination. abortion. being reminded that ‘making no decision’ is always making a decision.

there are so many aspects to this story. i hope that you will make time this Easter time in the busyness of it all to slow down and choose a moment, or moments, to meditate on. and then reflect against the daily living out of your life. has what Jesus did on the cross affected your day to day life in any way, shape or form?

the story of this week, two thousand years ago, affects me on a daily basis. it is so good to be reminded of that. and to live it out well.

i don’t cry a lot. not because i don’t want to, i just don’t. i have spent many prayers through the years asking God to make me cry more and for the most part He doesn’t. there was a moment on a bench outside of a Simple Way retreat last year where the tears came and my wife was around to witness it and it was short and very much linked to God and worship and just being still and knowing. the time before that i remember was the second time i watched the Passion of the Christ when i was by myself in the little Knysna cinema while promoting New Song fest – i had been around a bunch of people i knew the first time i watched it and so the tears didn’t come but for some reason there by myself, just taking in the sacrifice of Jesus… instant water action… i think that was something like ten years since my previous cry – not that i haven’t felt sad or really sad or moved or even broken inside for various reasons at other times during that time period, but it just never culminated in a lot of crying…

the ring or one like it.back to this morning and my beautiful wife Valerie [tbV] is about to board a plane by herself [well with other people] to head for Americaland for a conference in Philly before heading to Oakland, California where i will meet up with her later if all goes according to plan… likely to be gone for two to four weeks before i see her again and no that is not what made me cry. we were sitting at the Spur [no!] with her family [not that either] and suddenly she does her little magic trick where she lifts up her hands from her lap and her wedding ring is missing. oh wait, she doesn’t have a trick like that? not good. chaos reigns supreme – everyone searches the Spur and i am sent down to look at the ticket desk where there is no chance it is and bags are searched and eventually we just sit and wait for our food and are very sad. we figure the best chance is that it came off in the pool where we are staying. we managed to get Yuliswa, the house cleaner, on the phone and she look in our room and has just cleaned our on suite bathroom – nothing – so we say our goodbyes and i head to go search the car and then gun it home to see if i can search the pool before her flight leaves- we are running very fine…

ring not in car. car has 40km of petrol left it in and i have about an hour and ten minutes so time to get home, search for ten minutes and get back in time before she boards… after driving 60km/h [ish] all the way home re-interpreting a few road laws on the way i dive into the pool fully partially clothed and search the whole bottom of the pool and check the creepy filter – nothing! head up to the bedroom and pull off all the covers and look behind the bed – nothing. do a quick sweep under Val’s side of the bed and come up with her wedding ring [which is actually her engagement ring which we replaced after the big engagement ring steal/loss of three weeks after arriving at the Simple Way] in my hand…

[surreal moment of realisation that i have the ring and much happiness and joy and then suddenly snap out of it with a moment of]

I SHOULD GET THIS TO THE AIRPORT…

haveyouseenthiswomana drive of indeterminable speed later and getting the sister to phone the airport to get the call for Veleni Andersen [i have the piece of paper to prove it] to start happening and arrive and park and run and see information guy and get pointed to security entrance and look for my wife and see as the lift door opens and there she is and will the security lady let me through [no!] and will she let her through [no!] and so she takes the ring and gives it to her [did i mention i carried it in my mouth for most of the drive – would have been super bummed if i’d swallowed it but was also scared it would get stuck on my finger and was in a bit of a hurrylike] and then she eventually lets Val come through and kiss me and…

i cried! and it was great cos she did too and we were both busy hugging so much that she couldn’t really see but it was the really big difference between a horrible two days of flight to Joburg – Washington – Philadelphia and an amazing happy tear-filled i-am-loved-by-my-crazy-speedster-husband flight to Joburg – Washington – Philadelphia. what a way to send your wife off.

almost wish i’d planned it. but no.

and so yay what a good cry. and thankful to God and Bron and info man and security lady and all the people on the roads who for the most part got out of the way and let me past really quite nicely.

the blind cried

wow. i am not a big cry’er. not because “i’m a guy so i don’t cry” – just cos i don’t cry really

i love crying, i think it’s really manly and necessary and releasing and all that so it sucks that i don’t more often – i ask God from time to time to let me cry more but so far no good – last time i can remember crying was the second time i watched ‘the passion of the Christ’ by Mel Gibson – first time i watched it with people and i wanted to cry but i just didn’t – then the second time was a week or two later when i was road tripping thru knysna to advertise the newsong festival i was running at the time and i decided to go watch by myself and the gates just opened. and it was great

and now at 7.42 in the morning just before i go away for an incredible one year marryversary with my beautiful wife Val, i have just finished watching ‘the blind side’ with sandra bullock and ‘big mike’ and man, that was great – i didn’t cry cry but i was pretty much on the complete edge of being there pretty much the whole movie – if you haven’t seen it yet, do yourself a favour

the best part is it’s true or based on a true story and the best part was seeing the real Michael Tuohy and family pics at the end of the movie and then reading a bit more up on them on the interweb

for me watching that movie was a picture of the church – when we get it right

“i’m making a difference to this one” – [throws starfish in sea]

what if all the people who were meant to be on the beach were on the beach

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