Day 32: Where the Pages Linger

Has your body 

been broken?

Many times before?

First, by another’s hands?

Then, by your own abhor?

 

Would you be lying

if you said you did not fear

that all of your past

would again reappear?

 

Must you relinquish your

own stubborn will,

and give up

all control

for His grace

to spill?

 

As we put

pen to paper,

reciting this

humble prayer;

please, help us -

remind us

in troubled times

don't despair.

 

Lord, I know every

thorn and bruise

You willingly take

was so my weakened soul

might not ever break.

 

So, when I remember

wounds that lie under skin

allow my heart to be quenched

by Your strength from within.

 

Let me not dwell on

the piece of me I deem taken,

but that which sealed the wound

the gift of You in Your raising.

 

Before you begin your day:

If you've ever seen The Passion of the Christ, by Mel Gibson, providing pain with a portrait is rather straightforward. Let us ask God to reveal and share with us a portrait of our woundedness. Does discomfort lie right underneath your skin, poking and scratching at the surface? Or does agony ache in the dwelling depths longing for recognition? Spend several moments here, first, ask God to help you recognize the wound. Then, allow Him to begin lifting it from you. You are lighter. Don't rush, permit shifting movement within. Power vanishes as you release it to Him. He carries it; weight yields; then surrenders to His hands. You stand.

 

Reflecting now, had you forgotten about this strain? Or were you eager to deliver it to Him? Had it festered within, seeping into other areas of your life? Or is it a recent event, still irritating the surface? How do you feel at this moment? Angry? Fearful? Saddened? Burdened? Joyful? Relieved? Light? Calm?

 

Return to the Lord with whatever emotions you now carry. In the Gospels, it is only a small section - words - that describe the merciless preparation for His Crucifixion. Words like: stripped him; spat upon him; struck him; mocked him; scourged him. These five verbs stain our minds with such vile images, yet the Gospel writers only linger here briefly. Why?

 

I believe John sums it up as Jesus speaks to Pilate after the scourging. "Pilate, therefore, said to him, 'You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you, and power to crucify you?' Jesus answered Him,

 

'You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above...' " (John 19: 10-11)

 

We will encounter many hardships. These sufferings can have such immense power over our lives. They exhaust us with their relentless whispers: Do you not know I can release you or crucify you? In what seems like the longest pages in our lives, they triumph. They scourge our hearts, strip our minds, spit upon our confidence, crucify our spirits. We only need whisper back:

 

'You have no power over me...'

 

God longs to lift burden from within, for this is where true power resides. Look at Jesus's face above, in all His pain; He gazes upward. And this is where the pages of our story linger. In this gaze. Not in the midst of the pain, but within the release of it - into the hands of our Blessed Lord.

 

During your day:

Pilate therefore said to him,

"You will not speak to me?

Do you not know that I have the power

to release you, and power to crucify you?"

Jesus answered him, "You would have no

power over me unless it had been given you

from above; therefore he who delivered me

to you has the greater sin."

(John 19: 10-11)

 

Read any of the Gospel accounts of The Mocking of Jesus:

Mark 15: 16-20; Matthew 27: 27-31; John 19: 1-16  

 

Throughout your day:

INHALE: I follow.

EXHALE: You lead.

(repeat as many times as needed)

 

Before you end your day:

Lord, I know every

thorn and bruise

You willingly take

was so my weakened soul

might not ever break.

 

So, when I remember

wounds that lie under skin

allow my heart to be quenched

by Your strength from within.

 

Let me not dwell on

the piece of me I deem taken,

but that which sealed the wound

the gift of You in Your raising.

Amen.​

 

Goodnight; sleep well; know you are blessed.

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