"For he has not despised nor disdained
the suffering of the afflicted one;
he has not hidden his face from him
but has listened to his cry for help." Psalm 22:24
I have seen the unspeakable things. In fact, I have experienced them.
Lashes on my back. The jeering crowd surrounding, my face contorting. Nail in each hand, spear in my side, crown of thorns that pierced my brow. These were nothing compared to the burden I took on—the wickedness, the measure of evil. I held it within my heart—the father turning his face from me. Utter forsakenness.
That man that you saw beaten and bloody on the train platform—the one whose face no longer held shape—the terror in your heart, terror at the apathy of the people standing around oblivious to his pain, terror at your own desire to flee and not show love. I was there.
Each of those you mourn—I was there. I am always there.
The young girl raped and abandoned, the one who was kidnapped, sold, and abused. The one who lives in slavery, whose vacant stare belies that her heart has closed because intolerable abuse. I see her. I know her. I love her. She is my creation, made in my image.
She is at the center of why I came to walk among you—why this intervention was the most painful, sacrificial, and only option.
The unspeakable things done by you and toward you—I carried them in my human heart.
The knowledge of their affect on you and the catastrophic ache that they caused each of you—I alone have experienced all of them.
For these things I died—for the unspeakable things—to put an end to the scorn and silence, to the torture and hopelessness.
Consider the great love of the Lord. (Psalm 107:43)
Even now you wrestle and mourn. Even now the doubts gnaw at your mind and you do not have the strength to believe that I am good, that I love you, that I love them. That I have seen the suffering—and that I have the power to do something about it. You strain, immobilized by powerlessness. You carry burdens on your shoulders—the faces of the brokenhearted, the faces of the women and men and children who need my love. You carry your own burdens as well. You collapse under the weight.
I need to tell you this: You cannot save yourself.
Open your hands. Stop striving. Receive the gift of my love.
My child, this is what perfect love looks like:
I give you a new heart.
I put a new spirit in you.
I breathe new life into the dry bones.
I rescue you from idolatry when your thirst causes you to come back to me.
I prepare a table before you in the presence of your enemies.
I restore your soul.
I know about the unspeakable things. I have seen them, I have experienced them. I died so that you might know my forgiveness. My healing. My restoration. My perfect shalom.
I welcome you with open arms. Come and receive. Repent. Believe. Be healed. And see how I desire to redeem even the unspeakable things for my glory, and for your healing.