Saturday, February 17, 2007

That Sort of Guy

I’m smiling. It’s a little forced, but I’m smiling.

I’ve been in the prayer room for quite a few hours this week, and though I know I’m in good hands, I still feel... a little down.

I could say I’m worried about money, or the challenges of work and family or overwhelming, or any number of things are on my mind, but this mood of mine is out of character.

I’m one of those irritating, early rising, whistling and singing at daybreak types who seems to be cheerful when others are down. I still seem that way, but between you, me, and the hundreds of others who peek into this blog regularly, I’m faking it.

In a prayer meeting the other day a friend of mine spoke about the wounds so many of us carry. How life has “nailed” us and we all carry these terrible wounds.

I have my own hurts. So does my wife. There are many internet friends who visit here, aching and stumbling with wounds fresh and wounds old.

I’m thinking about our Lord.

About His wounds.

He suffered terrible wounds. But, I think, the wounds that hurt Him the most, are the ones we continue to inflict on Him, the rejection, the indifference. Or perhaps it’s the wounds we bear which hurt Him. He’s that sort of guy.

I think that if we could just look up from our own suffering for a moment, for a clear moment, and see the hand He stretches out to us, if we would look at that hand that bears a wound passing clear through, we would see something important.

We would see that our wounds are His wounds. That He is holding out His hands to pluck the nails from our own hands, take our suffering away. That His wounds are great enough, eternal enough, to replace all the ones we carry.

In the prayer room this morning I was looking at the painting I did last Christmas. A joyful, laughing infant carrying terrible wounds. Infant Messiah, Infinite Messiah.

I am still in a bit of a funk. I’m not sure why. Perhaps I need to slow down, make peace with myself.

But gazing at that picture, that feeble echo of a truth the Lord shared with me, I know that I’ll be just fine soon enough.


Chris said...

I've thought about wounds a lot in the last year, and I've come to some of the same conclusions. One of the things that blew me away the most was when I realized that not only was God aware of my wounds, but He cared - deeply - about them. More even than I was letting myself. He cared about the heavy weight and burden that I carried. And He cares about the burdens and weights you're carrying. They're a lot, it's true. But He cares about them. Every time I think about that it simultaneously fills me with awe and wonder and joy - and brings me close to tears. This incomprehensible thought: that God Almighty cares about our burdens and sorrows and toils and trials and tears and pains and weakness... how? Why? We don't deserve it! No, indeed, we deserve death and damnation, when He gives perfect abiding love, when He stretches forth those wounded hands, when He shows us His ragged side and says, "This blood is for you." And how great, then, must be the love of an infinite God who became constrained by finite space and time so that He could truly and deeply identify with our struggles!

I know that His peace - the peace which surpasses all understanding, the peace that guards your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus - will be with you. It's greater than every emotion, stronger than every circumstance. I pray you sleep well and are rested in the night ahead, and that you awake refreshed. May the Lord bless you and keep you, and make His face to shine upon you!

curious servant said...

That was thoughtful and well said. Thank you.

Judas Hate said...

Wow. I came marching up and kicked the doors in with intent on hosing you down with hope, joy, inspiration, encouragement and love. Once the dust cleared and I saw what Chris had etched onto the bar room floor, I put my pistols away and backed up.
Now there's a young man with something to say.
I never say this, but Preach it Brother!

Thinking of, praying for and just loving you Will.


Ame said...

Justin - you made me laugh! Chris is a very wise young man. Thinking of the three of you together - you, Will, and Chris ... and the gates of hell shall not prevail ... because of He who lives so vividly in all three of you!

CS - so, what would it be like if you stopped faking it for a day or two? Perhaps those whom you have carried will have the privalege and opportunity to carry you for awhile :) Just a thought.

I do find it amazing that He who has wounds infinitely greater than any you or I could ever carry, cares for our wounds ... perhaps so much so that He allows them to be opened so He can heal them.

You mentioned in an earlier post the question of whether this is spiritual warfare or something else. Can it be both? The book of Job opens with Satan, but it does not close with him. It closes with Job "getting it." I find that amusing b/c Satan thought it was all about him, but it wasn't, was it. It was about God orchestrating this whole symphony where, in the end, it was about God loving Job SO much that He took this near-perfect man and sent him thru hell so that Job could be made perfect in the perfection of God. Pretty cool :)

Hummm ... perhaps I need to internalize my own words tonight :)

Anonymous said...

One of the things that most puzzled me once was Jesus' behavior over the demise of His friend, Lazarus. He purposely delayed His visit while Lazarus was still alive and deathly ill. He arrives days after that news has come. He extends to the family not only sympathy and tender concern, but an enormous Truth. And, even knowing He will raise Lazarus from the very tomb, and restore him to his loved ones and to all these townspeople mourning with them, He nonetheless cries. Why? Could it be that He hates our suffering in this exile, and that He is that near to each of us, to cry with us.. to laugh with us..

curious servant said...

It is pretty cool to check in on my blog and find wit, wisdom, love, theology, and humor.

I really appreciate the comments all of you have left. Much better than the usual "Wow, this post really touched me," sort of thing. Real world advice and caring.

I'm glad that I can relax a little here, in this forum where I can say what I want, this part private journal, part public soap box. Never in the history of the world have private journals been this public!

In the real world, the realm of 4-D people I know and help with chores and such, there aren't many who see this blog... only one regularly. So I can talk about my concerns.

Perhaps a lot of my funk lately is simply being tired. I have so many irons in the fire... But tomorrow is a day off (another perk of being a teacher) and tomorrow night is our monthly moon howlin', the place where I can be open and honest.

Thanks for the in-depth comments, everyone! I owe all of you some visits!

Chris said...

I'm glad to hear you have the time off, and your moon-howling. I've no doubt they'll be good for you. Justin - since I take it from Ame that that's who you are - thanks!

jel said...

thanks for stopping by

squirrel said...

I don't know what I can add to those great comments above me! You have some great readers, Will. Ame made a great point in saying to you to not fake it all the time. You are depriving others of their time to help you out and everyone needs that time to help others.
If you get a chance today check out my post I got a little "spiritual and religeous" (and I almost NEVER do that on my blog!) I'm just interested in what you think about the subject. Thanks!

Penless Thoughts said...

Are you familiar with the book The Splendor of His Ways - Seeing the Lord's End in Job by Stephen Kaung?

The copyright was 1974 so it's over 33 years old but it's the best perspective on Job I've ever been privedged to read and does not give the usual commentary about "That which Job feared came upon him."

God's blessings.

Jada's Gigi said...

the ebb and flow of life that seems to be a reflection of Him...This too shall pass...:)

beth said...

You seem quite self-aware...but the 'faking it' business nudges me to write. I faked it, and faked it well, for a long time. When it becomes a way of life, it is insidious, especially wrapped in the cloak of spirituality. 'Faking it' cost me a marriage and a lot of years; but the joy of the Lord is my strength, and He has restored my soul. I see that you lean that way yourself. There is no greater hope.

Just visiting from Penni's blog, and curious to look around a bit further. Thank you for this insightful and beautifully worded post.

MMM said...

Dear CS, I'm mooding (is that a word?) right along with you. Although I am smiling and I'll be okay eventually, you and I are companions on that little...downswing.

Many hugs.

bigwhitehat said...

About that smile. There is one fella I have seldom seen without one. He officiated my wedding. I asked him how he does it. He said, "Some days I have to fake it to make it."

So apparently, sometimes we just have to choose.

bjk said...

What Ame said....easier said than done...takes alot of authenticity to be vulnerable or maybe it's alot of vulnerability to be authentic....what a gift to someone to encourage you ....

Kathleen Marie said...

God is just so loving and so good and he does just take us at times and just rocks us like a little babe.

Sometimes I think I have dealt with it all, but then I find the Lord taking me even deeper to a new healing...he finds those hiding places in my soul that even I have forgotten all about.

Thankyou and God Bless!

Ame said...

you've been quoted:

thought you might like to know - and your readers, too :)