cross-ing thresholds….

It is Good Friday.

For Christians everywhere, this day is a sacred remembrance,

a confrontation with darkness, hate,

and all that we name as sin.

It is the story of one who stood his ground

in spite of all the worst we could throw at him.

This day is our story as well–

ours of slipping and sliding

of hoping and hopes dashed

of anguish and sadness too great to name.

It is a time for a holy joining of our pain to Christ,

to his cross,

and beyond.

I offer the following reflection

as awareness of

and solidarity with

all who have suffered violence, hatred and abuse

and as empathy with their loved ones

as they bear the cross and crossing of life’s thresholds:

one step forward 4 steps back…

she goes again.


every time her foot hesitantly

inches toward

that golden line of success

releasing the demons

holding her self esteem hostage

she slides

slipping like a little girl

the first time she gingerly touches ice

with her winter galoshes

and then

as quick as a wink




4 steps back.

O God

I am her Mother and it hurts

to see my baby fall again and again

so I wonder

as you carried the burden

of that slivery


torture device we wear with pride

around our necks and in our ears and on our skin and

we hang it everywhere

did your mother wonder why?

1 step forward,

4 back

when I see the cross,

I should


remind myself that

even death is defeated

by love.

but God,

it’s so damn hard to watch.

© Nancie Chmielewski updated 4/3/15

[you are welcome to share with someone who may find this poem helpful–kindly respect my authorship. Thank you.]


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I am a fabric artist and a professional minister in the Catholic Church. I am married for 40+ years to a most fabulous man. We have 4 adult children, 2 daughter-in-laws ( who we also consider to our children!) and 4 grandbabies. I love to weave, paint silk, sew and design garments for myself; bead, read, write and color. I am also a spiritual Companion/Director and have a special place in my soul for women who are healing and in need of healing from trauma and abuse. I love coffee, quiet reflective prayer time at my kitchen table and long walks to breathe in the Holy Spirit. I would like to learn how to spin yarn and will someday create a spun, hand dyed/painted, beaded, woven fabulous garment of peace!

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