Hanging On Before Letting Go

Sometimes we have to take hold of things before we can let them go.

This twelfth-century image of Mary interlacing her hands with those of her dead son’s makes sense viscerally.

As long as we can touch something, it is real to us.

Two disciples: Joseph of Arimethea and Nicodemus

When we aren’t ready to say goodbye–or to let go physically or metaphorically, it’s okay to hang on.

My Prayer:

For the courage to hang on when I need to and the courage to let go when I need to, I pray.

Invitation to Prayer:

What are you needing to let go of? Contemplate this image of the deposition of Jesus’s body from the cross. How can it help you?

Scriptural Touchstone:

Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one… asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body. Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds.  John 19:38-39 NRSV


These images are found in the pane depicting the Deposition of Jesus’s body from the Cross (Jesus, Mary, John, Nicodemus, and Joseph). The double image is of this pane and its neighbor, Jesus’ crucifixion (Mary and John below the cross). Both are from the Passion window at Chartres Cathedral (1145-55).

Other Posts in this Series
Life and Death
Talking about Death

Jill K H Geoffrion

Serving as a contemplative Christian minister and artist by compassionately and creatively inspiring others to seek a deeper relationship with God and a more meaningful life of service.


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