He sits beside us in the lowest places of our lives, like water. Are we broken? He is broken with us. Are we rejected? Do people despise us not for our evil but for our good, or attempted good? He was “despised and rejected by men.” Do we weep? Is grief our familiar spirit, our horrifyingly familiar ghost? Do we ever say, “Oh, no, not again! I can’t take any more!”? He was “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” Do people misunderstand us, turn away from us? They hid their faces from him as from an outcast, a leper. Is our love betrayed? Are our tenderest relationships broken? He too loved and was betrayed by the ones he loved.
Does he descend into all our hells? Yes. In the unforgettable line of Corrie ten Boom from the depths of a Nazi death camp, “No matter how deep our darkness, he is deeper still.”
We lose little bits of life daily — our health, our strength, our youth, our hopes, our dreams, our friends, our children, our lives — all these dribble away like water through our desperate, shaking fingers. Nothing we can do, not our best efforts, holds our live together. The only lives that don’t spring leaks are the ones that are already all watery. The only hearts that do not break are the ones that are busily constructing little hells of loveless control, cocoons of safe, respectable selfishness to insulate themselves from the tidal wave of tears that comes sooner or later.
He is the most forgotten soul in the world. He is the one we love to hate. He practices what he preaches: he turns his other cheek to our slaps. That is what love is, what love does, and what love receives.
And this is for my hubby, who sticks with me no matter what demons I’ve got inside my head. (Except the part about “and I’m just a man”, because obviously I’m not 😀 .)