Lately my heart has been heavy to the point of breaking. There is so much pain and suffering, meanness and ugliness, violence and hatred in the world. I’ve written before that life is hard and just when I think it can’t get harder or more complicated it does. It always seems like I’m being pelted with snowballs and I have no snow to return fire with. The wind is knocked out of me and before I catch my breath another follows quicker than the last.
I’m not just speaking about the mess and chaos in my life, I’m talking about the rest of life, the part that happens out beyond my front door, beyond my neighborhood, beyond my community, beyond my town, beyond my state or even my country. Although for the first time massive violence happened not just in my state and town but my own backyard, right next to one of my doctors’ offices and shopping plazas. Not once but two days in a row.
As it unfolded I felt as if I couldn’t breathe. I didn’t personally know anyone who lost their life or even the injured victims but I knew people who knew people. My BIL worked in the trauma hospital where the survivors were taken, he helped to care for them. How do you process such violence? How do you make it palatable for a child to understand without scaring them? How do you shield a child suffering with anxiety from everything going on yet teach them how to be aware and what to do if they found themselves in a similar situation. Why do I even have to explain these things to my teens, let alone my little people?
As I pondered all of this I considered that the world may have just finally lost its mind, all compassion, and understanding completely. I wondered has evil finally won? How is it possible, Jesus came to conquer evil and death, HOW can evil be winning?! As I really thought about this over the past couple of weeks I realized evil has reared its ugly head from the beginning of time; from the time Eve took a bite of an apple because she was beguiled by a serpent. (Why would satin come as a serpent? Why not something majestic? Why appear as a serpent, what about the serpent sucked Eve in? My other constant question is what in the heck was Adam doing? I mean he saw her talking to Satin why didn’t he intervene?) From the time Eve believed Satin’s lies and was kicked out of the Garden of Eden we have lived with violence and evil. After all Cain attacked and killed Abel, his own brother, and why because he was jealous! From that point on we have had tremendous violence, blood-shed, and carnage throughout the world in every era.
So why now does it seem as if violence throughout the world is happening all over at warp speed? I believe it’s has to do with media advancements and social media. We not only hear about things within minutes of it happening we are transported there via TV, the internet, videos, Tweets, Snapchats etc. We are literally seeing what the victims see, hearing what they hear and fully imagining what pain they must be enduring.
Tonight I was contemplating my own life, my own accomplishments or lack thereof, asking myself why does God seem to be so evident throughout some people’s lives and I often feel like He’s taken a personal hiatus from mine. A very real and very vivid thought came into my head. When our Lord was sweating blood in the Garden of Gethsemane, asking God please don’t make me do this, what was he truly experiencing? Was He filled with immense fear, and tremendous pain? Did every precious life cut short from violence pass through His mind like a movie? Did He feel every heartache of a mother who’s lost her child? Did He feel the humiliation of every person ever treated lower than an animal? Did He experience every lost or broken dream? Did He become familiar with the pain and suffering of victims of extreme violence and torcher? Was Jesus Christ given full knowledge and understanding of how it was going to be for every painful and hurtful thing ever experienced by any human soul from the beginning of time to the end of time? Is that why he asked God to please don’t make me do this? Is that why he sweat blood as He prayed for a different way?
How could God the Father send His son to earth to live amongst the lowest of low knowing what He would have to experience and go through? How could any loving father do this? And, why as the Son would He choose to take it all on? Why should He? He was sinless, perfect, and blameless, He had no reason to accept the Father’s will except for the fact that He LOVED! He LOVED! He loved God His father and He loved all of us, even the ones He knew would reject Him.
I don’t know what Jesus experienced, if it all played out before Him? If He felt the immense pain of every human soul that ever lived? My meager mind cannot wrap around the idea that Jesus was both man and God. What did He actually feel and think? Was it a man’s feelings and thoughts or were they the feeling and thoughts of an omnipotent God? I continually fall back on my own human experience and contemplate, what must Jesus have gone through to be able to accept God’s will for His life as if it was his own will. I can’t even begin to imagine His pain and suffering. Yet, I am so grateful that even if I were the only person living on the face of the earth, Jesus would still have come to die for me, to save me from my selfish sins. I am so grateful for His undying love for me and willingness to endure all the pain and suffering so that I may have eternal life with Him one day. Even if I don’t always feel a connection or His presence or I’m overcome with human emotion and forget, somewhere deep inside He waits for me. I know He is always there waiting, loving me. There will never be words or deeds or emotions to show how eternally grateful I am that the Father sent the Son and the Son accepted the Father’s will.
Right now though, my heart is heavy. I long to sit at His feet, place my head on His lap and feel His loving peace. To just be in His presence and worship Him. For once I truly want to be Mary instead of Martha. I want to forget everything in the world around me and just be with my Lord! Just be in His loving presence. Just be in His presence. Just be with Him. To just be.
Picture taken from http://iamaruby.com/group/womenatthewell