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I was invited by the man on the middle cross.

Beneath a sky cloaked in sorrow, on a hill where the olive trees wept, humanity's darkest canvas was stretched. It was a day where the sun dared not shine too brightly, where the wind held its breath, and the earth itself quaked in despair. Here, the juxtaposition of humanity's most profound ugliness met with the purest form of beauty ever to grace the world—the selfless love of the Beautiful One, whose very essence was love incarnate.

Upon that crude wooden cross, the Beautiful One hung, a crown of thorns pressed into His brow, the jewels of heaven's tears upon His cheeks. In the face of scorn, He whispered forgiveness. In response to hate, He breathed kindness. Amid the pain, He emanated peace. And with every drop of sacred blood that kissed the earth, a fountain of grace burst forth, washing over the stains of human sin.

This event was no mere tragedy, no simple act of brutality. This act was the day when Love was lifted high, not to proclaim victory in shouts of thunder but in the silent offering of a broken heart. The Beautiful One, in His final breaths, crafted a masterpiece of redemption with the palette of His wounds.

On this day, the cross became more than a symbol of suffering; it became the beacon of hope, the bridge to eternity, the invitation to Love's eternal home. It was on this day that the gates of that home were flung wide open, with the key to enter hanging not on a ring of gold but on the promise of the man on the middle cross.

Should you ever find yourself wandering, lost in the shadows of doubt, may you remember the path illuminated by His sacrifice. And should you stand at the threshold of love's home, unsure of your place within, let your heart echo with the simple yet profound reply:

"I was invited by the man on the middle cross."

For it is by His invitation that we are welcomed, not for our virtue, but for His mercy; not for our purity, but for His grace. In the artwork of that fateful day, we find the signature of the Divine—Love's name etched not only on the wood of the cross but inscribed indelibly upon the human soul.

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