Sometimes I think I’m not supposed to hurt, that things aren’t supposed to trouble me, so I often don’t allow people to see the hurts I endure. A misunderstanding, an unkind word, a hateful deed: We simply hide them in our sock drawer and move along. Who would care anyway? What would it matter? There are bigger crimes, bigger hurts, louder tears. But every time I open the sock drawer, there they are. I slam it shut and scream in my mind, “Who would care?!” And I answer my question with cynicism, “Who? Like, a human?”
A friend said to me today, “It’s okay, I’m not afraid of tears. You can talk.” Ah! He may not be afraid of tears, but God knows I am. I struggle to regain composure and try to speak without squeaking … or sobbing. I ask if we can talk later and hang up the phone. Buried consequences rise in my throat like a tidal wave and my body trembles under the weight of grief, sorrow, misunderstanding and shame.
We were not meant for sin or grief; we were not meant to hurt. Hurt comes from sin, and sin is something far more spiritually connected than we could ever imagine, connected through insidious forces we can neither see nor touch, let alone understand. And when it makes its way into the human soul it can hardly be rectified without a bigger and more authoritative Spiritual Power.
My eyes fall on Mark 1:23-28. Jesus had just healed the demon-possessed man. In those days, demon possession was a very widespread thing and had many Jewish legends and folklore attached to it. One noted historian, Harnack said, “The whole earth was a living hell.” We really don’t see that kind of widespread demon possession today, and that’s not the focus of my note; however, what I came to realize about the demon-possessed man is that he knew he was possessed. Jesus could not cure him unless he admitted his trouble. I think that’s why the story is in the Bible. We must assume the reality of our disease before we can ask for a cure.
I open my sock drawer once again, and there are the hurts buried among the mis-matched. I place them on the dresser and slowly expose them to Jesus. Through tears and sobs, I admit the pain, the sin, the grief and the sorrow. Slowly they fade and I am renewed and strengthened by His power. And I realize that it isn’t the responsibility of any one person to meet us in these places. When we assume that man should do what only God can do then we put man before God and we will always be disappointed.
“Who would care?” I answer my question now with assurance. My eyes fill with tears, but these are tears of joy which come from a new sense of maturity and hope. Jesus cares, and Jesus stands ready to cure the heart that admits the disease.
Lord, thank you for allowing me to give you these things which hurt so deeply. I share them with you because you understand with great depth and clarity and you offer comfort with abundant mercy and loving-kindness. My hope is in you and my heart is strengthened by your love. My cup is full to overflowing with this joy. Jesus, take me and use me as your light to shine your glory. I love you, Lord.