The Cross

I’m grateful today that what Jesus suffered is fixed into our theology — that Immanuel, God with us, means with us in kind. In the hard and sometimes horrible parts of my life. It is for this reason that I can ‘take up my cross and follow’.  It is for this reason that I even try.


Begin again at the point
autism’s treachery entered,
through the genes,
or the environment, or
whatever, does it matter?
Face off with the demon
arms raised, fists

Outwardly keep moving:
intervene, gather, defend.
Doing is its own defense,
sends a silent message:
Yes, I’m managing, but hides
a silent fear – I’m really not
and don’t know what to do.

Inwardly freeze,
overcome by possibilities,
probabilities, eventualities…
Resist, wrestle, wither,
all the while waiting refreshment
accepted reluctantly, but sustaining
a cycle of reality.

Cling to the daily.
Greet beautiful children
from sleep, help them
begin courageously –
touch, hold, support, offer
breakfast, snacks, activities
palatably exchanged as conversation,
caretaking as relationship.

Rise to meet the storm
that comes without warning
offering your body as a receptacle,
crossing your reflexes, denying
your resistance, begging for mercy
but bending your will to receive
what only love can endure
on your knees, hands clasped…

These are the stations
of my cross.

© 2017 – Laurel Archer

This poem was written and posted last year and reposted today.  The featured image is a necklace I usually wear to remind me of this — the puzzle piece, which is commonly used as a symbol for Autism, hanging with the cross that speaks of this ‘with us’ journey Jesus offers us.

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