As the day closes and I find myself alone in the dark, I suddenly feel isolated in a world of hurt and pain and my heart cries out to the Lord, “why?” It’s not a question I ask very often anymore as over and over again God has revealed himself to be ever present in the midst of suffering and His grace is always sufficient. In fact, in the times of my greatest trials, peace that surpasses all understanding has carried me through.
But tonight, my cry is not for my own pain, at least not for any pain that I acknowledge to be my own, it is for the brokenness of a fallen world that seems to be unbearably evident in the lives of those whose stories have crossed my path today.
I want to help; to bind up the brokenhearted; to see justice done, and yet, something within me also wants to flee; to hide from the pain, and so I am left confused and crying in the dark. Deep within I know I feel immobilized by my own scars – scars that are deeper than I care to look, but it is those same wounds that draw out of my heart a compassion that moves me to action and so, helpless to act in any other way, I retreat to the old soothing console of pen and notepad.
My actions carry little comfort to those whose stories of hurt have once more opened old wounds, but as I scratch out my thoughts in the dark, hope is revealed. Once more I am reminded that we live in a fallen world and each of us bears the wounds and scars of sin – whether it is our own sin or sins against us or most often both – and that sin separates us from God, so therein lays our deepest pain. We know we are unworthy and once more sin has reminded us that we are unworthy- we are the dejected.
We were created for fellowship. We were created with a need to be cherished and loved and yet we have all felt rejection. We were also created in the image of a just God, and each of us cries out for justice as we long for redemption and vindication. And so those who have found redemption and grace are moved and it is the pain we carry, our own deep wounds, which move us to action.
Hope is discovered when the redeemed – still wounded from the scars of sin – see the pain in another and motivated by a need for justice and filled with compassion from the deep echoes of our own scars, act. Then the story of redemption – our story of redemption – is lived out over and over each day on the stage of a fallen and broken world.
The insecure moves the abused and loves without restraint as the abused returns to the abuser, all the while grieving at the injustice because she knows the pain of being used and wounded and then scorned and rejected by the one who has wounded. The one who perhaps feels overlooked and lonely defends the defenseless and innocent while the unappreciated and uncherished comes to the aid of the unloved and expended to help shield them from further pain. And in the dark, the immobilized scratches a message of hope and the story of redemption.
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5