I’d heard stories of it. Retreat Road down in Cochrane, Alberta. They have a monastery there. Robes and everything. But their real claim to fame is the massive statue of Christ being crucified in the woods. I’ve been there a few times. Walked up the path with all the smaller statues beside the path. There was one of a baby, a group of people reaching towards Jesus, and many others, finally culminating in this 20-foot tall cross with Jesus hanging from it. What gets a lot of people, though, is that Jesus is weeping on the cross. Nobody can seem to figure out why. Weeping is not the action of a Lord and Savior.
I’ve been there a few times during the day. It’s an interesting walk. Even for an atheist like myself, it is still awe-inspiring. I happened to notice lights though, beneath all the statues. I asked around, and they do light the path up at night. I asked if I could come back then, but they told me the path would be closed. No one would tell me why.
Not one to follow rules, I returned that night and made my way over the fence and onto the path. As I walked along the winding route to the large statue, I passed the smaller statues. They seemed different. It was in the angle the light hit them from. The statue of the baby - its eyes were all sunken in, and the shadows seemed to make its fingers end in claws.
The statue of the people reaching towards Jesus, they looked dead, reaching towards Jesus with the shadows casting a look of horror on his face. Something about them really unsettled me, but it was on a deeper level than just what they depicted now. I reached the statue of Jesus and gazed up at his face. I stood there for what felt like hours, just wondering why he was weeping.
I heard the whispers and rustling of the trees on all sides of me long before I saw anything. I gazed up at Jesus, looked deep into those stone eyes, and understood.
That night, he was weeping for me.
Honestly, I don't know why.