While waiting with my beloved wife to endure her latest painful round of tests the other day, it occurred to me with great force: I think I know why the light died when Jesus was on the cross, why the earth shook.
For the past month, I have sat by watching and listening as my wife suffers through a truly horrifying series of painful illnesses, and the sometimes even more painful treatments for them. I have listened to her cry out in pain, seen her experience all the indignities common to hospitals, listened to her beg for relief when there was no more relief to give. And I have been here, offering support and encouragement, but there has been nothing I can do to stop it.
Almost three weeks ago, I held my son in my arms and watched him die. It took almost three hours. I gave him my love, of course, but when it came to the dying, there was absolutely nothing I could do to stop it. I just had to watch.
Around two thousand years ago, God watched his son die a horrific death. It took around six hours. And my Bible tells me that he could have stopped it.
Oh, God in heaven, HOW COULD YOU NOT STOP IT? Was this really the only way? Am I really worth anything like that?
Sometimes I get to thinking that I am a loving person. But I know nothing about love.
Only this: I have received it.
Change me, father.