The Wood, The Nails, The Blood: A Lenten Reflection

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5 years of not that long but it's long enough.  Not that long in the grand scheme of marriages that last for forty, fifty and sixty years.

But it's long enough, long enough to have experienced a few things.

Long enough to have developed patterns.  Unhealthy ways of interacting. Damagings ways of communicating.  

The irony compels me to pay attention.

We just celebrate 5 years of marriage.

5 years.

The traditional gift for a 5 year anniversary is something made of wood

Wood that symbolized the strength of your marriage bond.

Wood, because it is durable and long-lasting.

Wood, representing your solidified relationship.

Wood, from a tree, that with each year that passes, through the elements and the changing of seasons, another ring is added.  

A ring is added to the trunk of the tree, marking the passage of time, marking the growth that change is seasons has brought.


Marriage has served to magnify my desperate need for a Savior.  

A savior that takes our imperfections and failings, the sin and darkness where our hearts have made themselves at home, and nail them to the tree with himself.   

And it's in his dying, as the blood slowly trickles from his brow and gushes from his side, that all that I have brought to nail to the cross is covered.

It is covered with a crimson stain that washes away.

The wood.  The nails. The blood.  

Mercy.  Forgiveness.  Love.


The lenten season begs us to listen.

It asks us to attune our souls, to quicken our hearts to what the cross and our savior asks.

We are beckoned to bring the very things to the cross that we hold so dearly.  

To nail into the wood that which we clench firmly to with our grubby little hands, insisting on its necessity.  

Asking us offer up the very things that we cannot imagine living without to find a love and hope that we in fact cannot live without.  


As the days of the lenten season pass and good Friday approaches, we are given the opportunity to decide.  

He has already decided.

He had decided to drink the cup.  The bitterest of all cups.

He has decided to walk the road, the one spread with palm branches that will lead to calvary.

He has chosen already.

He turns the questions on us.

What will you do?

Will you walk the path, spread by palm branches and follow me?

Will you bring what you are clenching so tightly to and nail it to the tree?

‘I’m dying either way’ he says.

Whether or not you offer up that which will ultimately consume you, I am dying for all of humanity just as I am dying for you.   

He leaves it up to us

What will you bring to nail to the tree?

And what you bring to lay down, to give up, to nail to the tree, we find that he has already taken.  

It was nailed to the tree with each driving pound of the hammer the drove the nails into his hands and feet.  

The wood.  The nails. The blood.

Mercy.  Forgiveness.  Love.