"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." ~St. Augustine

Monday, January 11, 2010

Another Mary

I just had the privilege to pray with a dear woman. She is processing a very difficult circumstance and grieving deeply. Toward the end of our prayer, she began to cry out to Jesus, "You didn't protect me! You didn't show up! Where were you?".

In my mind's eye, I felt I was back a few thousand years ago watching sweet Mary falling to the ground, dirt stained dress. I could just see her grasping the Lord's feet, weeping and crying out, "If you had come, he wouldn't have died!" (John 11) And, then I could see Him troubled. His face contorted with compassion, sorrow and grief. I could see Him weeping as she wept.

Mary needed to say it to Jesus. She had to be honest with Him and she was not punished for it. In fact, she saw His Glory on the heels of that real grief and honesty! She needed to see Him deeply troubled by her circumstances and she needed Him to enter into her grief with her. Mary needed this 2000 years ago.

And so did this other Mary today.

This sweet woman who sat with me this afternoon had to say it to Jesus. She needed to ask Him "why?" and cry at his feet, in accusation, like Mary... you didn't come, Lord!! Why!!??!!

Oh, the beauty of genuine, heart-deep interactions with our Lord! Can we trust Him enough? Can we believe that He will enter in to our grief and not punish us for honesty? Can we know His shoulders are big enough to handle the questions and to take our accusations?

Thank you, my sweet brother, Jesus for being a man well acquainted with grief and sorrow. Thank you for being able to take our ranting and raving! Thank you for showing forth Your glory and allowing the fire of pain to strengthen us. Thank you that suffering produces growth, perseverance and character! Suffering produces glory.

But we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. (Romans 5)
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