Saturday, November 12, 2016

He Wept With Me

It's time.

I learned at a very young age that my voice didn't carry much weight. The youngest of four children, and a small framed girl, I didn't have much power. I was the absolute bottom of the totem pole. Domestic abuse was my example of family, and marriage. Words flew like daggers. Dishes flew, sometimes fists. Wrestling matches on the kitchen floor were not uncommon and not the playful fun kind. Red and blue flashing lights.

Christianity and kindness seemed unrelated. Paranoia and prophecy reigned supreme. N words and f words and all manner of unkind words poured from lips that professed the name of Jesus, and even then I knew. This is not it. This is not Him. Because you see, I knew my Jesus. He and I would cry together in the cold, dark linen closet as my tears fell on the soft, cool piles of sheets underneath me. It was there that I hid when the rages came. I felt His presence. He offered no words of advice. He never told me it would all be ok. He wept with me, and I was not alone.

Isaiah 53:3King James Version (KJV)

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.
A dear friend asked me, how did I know? How did I really know that Jesus was real? I didn't tell him about my linen closet Jesus. I just told him that I had felt His presence in a way that was so strong, there was no denying it. He smiled and we continued our awkward middle school bus ride.

It was hard to reconcile. And really, my experience being raised in a turbulent Christian household could have been enough to push me totally away from my faith in Christ. But I could not shake His presence. It wasn't until I read these words as young teen that I knew that I was not the only one in the faith that saw the conflict between the voice of the believer, and the behavior of the believer. The contradiction was there when the books were written, and it was called out.

1 Corinthians 13New International Version (NIV)

13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

My voice is very loud now. Too loud and too opinionated for some. God grew my voice from a whisper to a roar. He made me this way for a reason. God makes me feel very deeply, and passionately, and He makes me braver and braver still. My inability to deflect the pain and grief of others, is often a weight that is very hard and heavy to bare, but it is my cross. Dismissing fear, pain, loneliness,  grief... I just can't. I won't. Because I was there, for so long, hiding in that literal closet, weeping and afraid, and He came and He wept with me. He never told me to suck it up. He never reminded me that God was on the throne. He never promised relief. He just wept with me.

1 comment:

  1. Our God is a lion,the Lion of Judah - her Him roar through you. Our God is a lamb - The Lamb that was slain - see him break chains and heal others through you. Thanks.