Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sharing the Suffering

Angie, from the blog "Bring the Rain", is a woman I really, really, REALLY admire. Never met her. Would love to someday. Might have to wait till Heaven, but oh, to call her a sister in Christ already...Wow.

In case you are not familiar with her family's story (where ya been, under a rock? haha), I would highly suggest it is worth the time it would take to go to her blog and read from the beginning, to the present. I spent *hours* one night reading and crying and praying and getting to know this woman, who surely is one of God's favorite kids. Now, I regularly check in and I always leave uplifted.

Anyway, a recent post of hers has had me thinking for the past few days. Read the linked post and then come back and we'll talk. I'll wait...

Back? OK then. Wow, huh? Woooowwwww.

See, I have things like this that I do when I want to meditate on the Lord. During the time I first met Him, I would put my little ones to bed and RUN downstairs to my date with Christ. I would turn off the lights, light a few candles and put on a worship CD.

Then, my God and I would dance. Unashamedly. Without concern for how I looked. Did. not. care. I was in love! And I would sing my heart out to my Lord. My Savior. My Messiah. My Redeemer. My Papa. My God.

I would kneel and bow and dance and twirl and sing and spend the last hour or two of my day, just worshiping God and enjoying His presence.
I would picture myself, holding His face in my hands, gazing into His eyes, simply lost. To be loved unconditionally was the most intimate thing I had ever experienced. How intoxicating. What a precious time that was for me and my brandnewbaby Christian faith.

Another scenario I have imagined that assists me in entering the presence of God is to picture myself as a kid, welcoming home my Dad. I hear His footsteps, I run to Him and jump into His arms. I chatter incessantly as He nods and smiles and listens and laughs. We sit on the couch together, snuggled up.

Then, I notice that my Dad is tired. I know what to do! I get His footstool. I get Him a glass of water and set it near Him. I get Him a snack. I ask about His day. I hover. I 'help'. I rub his shoulders. And I feel loving and useful and warm and special. Just me and my Dad.

These are special imaginings for me. They are not anything I read about in a book. The are simply natural for me. They sort of just happened to me, without my seeking, but I have come back to them again and again, as a way to connect with God.

Angie's way of connecting with God is far more beautiful, terrifying and sacred (in my opinion). My connection methods seem kindergarten-ish and immature, by comparison. This feeling does not originate with God (IMHO), as I do not believe that God is all into our comparisons with one another. I do not believe that Angies's way is preferred by God over 'my' way. God is not like that.

But what I do know, is that it takes a courageous Christian to knowingly and intentionally enter into the suffering of Christ. From the title of her blog, "Bring the Rain", to the writings she shares, to her meditation exercise, Angie is not afraid to enter into and share in the sufferings of Jesus. And I am overcome by that.

Me? To this day, I cannot stay in a theater or a room when the "Passion of the Christ" movie is portraying the torture of Jesus. Like, as in, I physically bolt from the room, panic-stricken, because I know what is coming. I cannot watch and I cannot listen , but neither can I leave entirely. I stay nearby, eyes covered, ears covered and alternately crying or shaking or both.

I am a weenie. I can't handle the truth about what happened to Jesus.

For me.

I wonder if I will ever be able to enter into the Lord's presence the way Angie does. Does that even matter? Just thinking about it makes my stomach turn. I feel queasy and panicky, even now, simply considering the prospect of looking upon his horribly battered body. How can people be so mean? So cruel? The mocking, the pleasure, some took in His suffering and death. ugh. (deep breath).

Not sure how to wrap up this little musing. Did I have a point? What was my point? Hmmmm...I am flippin' Aunt Clara (shakes head pathetically and rolls eyes)!!

Oh yeah. Go read Angie's blog. You will feel blessed to know her, too, no matter how you connect with Jesus.

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