The Fifth Waypoint: Jesus Is Stripped of His Clothing
We walk into the woods, through the brown leaves and over fallen branches, to where an oak is lying on the forest floor, having come down in a storm long ago. The tree brings to mind other storms and disasters, which tear through the lives of humans and all creatures.
When they arrived at Golgotha, the soldiers removed Jesus’ clothing and shared it among themselves, casting lots for his seamless undergarments.
Here we bring into our hearts all those caught up in the upheaval and collapse of nature, in cataclysms made ever greater by titanic shifts in Earth’s systems. To be stripped of clothing is to be defenseless, to have lost everything. We take this into our hearts, the profundity of such loss. We weep for all of it, for the Earth as she roils and writhes, for the lives destroyed, for tree life, plant life, animal life, human life. Our hearts are rendered tender in this moment by our collective experience of a disastrous virus. We understand in our bodies the connection of all life, a realization both heartbreaking and beautiful.
This waypoint asks us to examine the layers we wear to protect our ego. We need these layers, they have enabled us to survive. But do we now mistake our garments for ourselves? Jesus is stripped of his clothing. Who are we when our layers are removed? In moments of grace, we are given the courage to allow others to see what’s underneath, and we are healed when they do not look away and instead remain, a loving witness to the places we conceal, a mirror in which we see ourselves wholly. Can we allow ourselves to be loved like that?
Filming and editing by Katie Jones Pomeroy // Online design and social media coordination by Joy Houck Bauer