Pound…pound…pound…what is that sound? I awake from an afternoon nap. Someone is hammering nails loudly into thick wood. Don’t they know I’m taking a nap? Er, I mean, enjoying solitude and silence. I worry that the other retreat participants will dislike the noise during their afternoon with God.

As I rouse, I realize that there are two gentlemen continuing to add to the stations of the cross at the retreat center. Each vignette depicts an aspect of Jesus’ crucifixion. They are nailing wood ties to line the path up through the stations. I was wishing that I had requested that no such noise be allowed during our solitude day.

Hammering and silence do not go together.

Then the irony strikes me. I am bothered by the sounds of a hammer and nails. Is it possible that Jesus was “bothered” by that sound as they nailed Him to the cross? The sounds pierced my sleeping brain and woke me up. He was brutally pierced for my sin. Will I wake up to his sacrificial love?

Oh, those gruesome nails! Stop the pounding! Stop the pounding!

Jesus had already done business with the Father in the garden. He had already asked that the cup be removed. But the cup was now being broken and poured out. The agony. The pounding.

Hearing these sounds during Unhurried Time with God does, indeed, make sense. The hammer pounding nails into wood is exactly the sound that helps wake me up to the sacrifice Jesus made for me.

I got up and took a walk over to the Stations of the Cross. I made my way along the path with all of the images of Jesus. I came to the depiction of him beaten and tied up. It was the only image with Jesus’ eyes open wide and looking straight ahead.

His gaze seemed to say: My eyes are wide open. I know what I am doing. I love you.

Eyes wide open

Gazing into my soul

Love poured out

Burning pain

Ultimate sacrifice

Persuing love

I am yours

Let the sacrificial love of Jesus move you. Let the pounding rouse you. Walk with that love out into your day today. Notice what a difference it makes.

I know we are nowhere near Good Friday or Easter. But anytime is a good time to remember what Paul said, “For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” (1 Cor. 2:2)


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