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March 21, 2013

MAY: Sacrificing self

(Continued)

“Where is your pain,” he asks. “Come and see.”

And like Mary, I so much want him to see. Here is the tomb, Lord. This is where my pain resides. Gaze upon my dreams that lie shattered on the floor like broken glass. My daughter isn’t coming back. My spouse left me. The doctor says it’s cancer. I’ve lost my job. Come and see, Lord, come and see.

My spirit and my soul ache. Words cannot escape my lips. It is here where I hurt. It is here where I am exhausted. Can’t you see where I am? I am crying hysterically. My friends are grieving, weeping as well. Mourning lingers heavy on the breath. Why do you stand so far away Lord?

His sigh is real. His breath is deep and pained. He stands stoic, but not removed. He is not far away; he is far closer than you will ever realize.

Jesus looked at Mary’s tears and circumstance the exact way he looks at yours and at mine. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Death wasn’t supposed to reign. Sin wasn’t supposed to have a stranglehold on our being. We weren’t supposed to be separated from loved ones. We weren’t supposed to feel that God was distant.

Jesus stared at the tomb, the same way he stares at your pain and my pain today. 

Determined. Resolved. Courageous. 

“I can bring Lazarus out of that tomb right now, but eventually he will just go back in. I need to bring him out for good — and the only way that can be done is if I go in and get him.”

Do you see Jesus? He’s tilted his head toward you. He sees your tears, and he shares them.

“I can stop your pain right now, but another pain will simply return. If I am going to stop it for good, I am going to have to go in and get you.”

And he did.

  — Tom May is the Minister of Discipleship at Eastside Christian Church in Jeffersonville. He is an adjunct instructor in the Communications Department at Indiana University Southeast.

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