They started telling me their stories. It caught me off guard when the children who decided to speak shared about their mothers. “My mother brought me a huge cake,” as the extended arms indicated the enormous dimensions. “My mother is beautiful,” another declared with loving eyes. “My mother is going to come and take me from this place,” the oldest of the group at seven years old crossed her arms in defiant determination. The possiblity may exist due to the foster type care that we provide children. But those words shot forcefully from that little mouth straight through my heart.
Suffering doesn’t touch you until you touch the suffering. And until you are touched by suffering you will not touch a sufferer.
I used to say that I would much rather learn from the Good Book that God has provided for our benefit rather than at the cruel school of hard knocks. That is not the case now. I see value in feeling, to bring me to a new awareness not attainable by facts on a page.
In my ignorance of pushing suffering away from myself I also pushed the sufferers away. As I have learned to embrace the hardships in my life I have also embraced the suffering people. Skirting the valley sent me tumbling down in only to realize that there were others going through as well.
Three days to break the body of Jesus and see it revived again with scars to testify. Thirty-three years suffering with raw and blistering humanity to break his heart, never to see it fully restored. He is a man acquainted with suffering. Can I be acquainted with him yet ignore his empathy and compassion? Doubtful.
“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” (Isaiah 53:3)
This is a description of Jesus. Namely the part of Jesus’ life when He was giving it away. This passage is full the horrific suffering that Jesus took upon Himself. He knows the pain. He still carries the scars. We are not alone.
Isaiah 53:4- 9 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
Take a moment and notice the different kinds of suffering that Jesus took upon himself. Do you identify with any of these? Let it be a comfort to you that you are not alone with your pain and scars.
originally posted: Aug 6, 2008
Scars – Acquainted