2 Samuel 7:18-22

We culminated our recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the traditional site of Jesus’ cross and resurrection. We wound the steep stairs to wait in line for the opportunity to touch the rock of Calvary. All that remains is the stone, of course, now enshrined in protective plexiglass and gaudy decoration.

After kneeling to feel the hard stone, I stepped back and unexpectedly had what I can only describe as a mystical experience. 

I gazed at the rock and felt like I was transported back over 2000 years to be a witness to Jesus on the cross. He was between two thieves. Everyone and everything else in the room drifted away. I could only see Jesus high on the cross with a backdrop of thunderclouds and purplish-blue sky. He was looking directly at me with an anguished, steady gaze. His face was full of love. This experience was so overwhelming that I started to weep. All I could think in that moment was, “He knows who I am. He died for me. That’s how much he loves me.” 

As the vision faded, I turned to leave. But for over an hour, I was speechless. 

I relate to David’s prayer, Who am I, O LORD GOD, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far? (v. 18). Who am I that God loves me so much? Who am I to be forgiven, receive the gift of grace, and be welcomed into God’s family? How can I thank God for the promise of abundant life today and eternal life one day? What more can I say?

Sometimes we have no words to convey what we feel. All we can do is kneel and quietly rest before the greatness of God.


When have you been speechless before God?


God, overwhelm me with your love today. May I never forget how Jesus sacrificed his life on the cross. Hear my prayer, and when words fail, receive my silence. Amen.

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