save, please

Years ago during a run, a good friend of mine showed me a Zen garden here in Baltimore. The caretaker is someone who lives in the neighborhood who has been curating it since 2016. I remember being inspired and impressed that someone would put so much effort into creating what is a beautiful respite nestled away in the woods of Druid Hill Park. After leaving the space, I remember saying to myself that I had to come back with Anita, my girlfriend at the time (now my fiancée) and years later, we finally visited.

The caretaker, seated on a humble bench, greeted us with a calm smile.

He showed us around and pointed out various aspects, including architecture inspired by his time in Japan and so many other places far from Baltimore.

His last comments directed us towards a graveyard of gravestones that had been incorrectly marked. This pile was hidden by other rocks because he said the site of gravestones makes people unsettled.

Anita moved some of these rocks so she could get a better view and this was what she found:

A broken cross with the first three letters of the Greek name of Jesus engraved in the center.

This might be unsettling for some, but for me, gazing on this broken, discarded cross brought great peace.

Standing there looking at Anita, who is an inspiration to me like the women at the cross, I reflected on how her moving the stones away revealed this peace, one that requires seeking and surrendering.

A moment after this, my phone buzzed – it was a text message from the same friend, Tym, who told me about the Zen garden in the first place. We had not spoken in a couple weeks and him contacting me – call it coincidence, chance or Providence – was the icing on the cake of this experience.

Praying this morning with Mt. 21 “Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem” led me to reading more about the meaning of Hosanna. In Greek, it means “save, please” and it is yet another name for Jesus that requires seeking and surrendering. The people yelling this were seeking a savior and those who surrendered their ego and comfort were able to find ultimate peace in following Him.

Knowing everyone who reads this might not be Christian, what we can hold in common in this reflection is the need to not only seek and desire peace but to do so in places we might not traditionally go to find it and then to to actively roll away the stone.

The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.

Psalm 118:22

Peace be with you.

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