Man of Sorrows

Life looks different around here, and I wake up feeling out of sorts most mornings. Still, Lent marches on day by day, and so do I. Only I’m not going to work as usual, instead I rise early to teach my high school-aged son algebra and English and chemistry. The first two aren’t so bad, but chemistry? Now that’s another story.

When school is over the sewing machines take center stage and I sew… mask after mask. Though I’m happy to do something just in case the need arises, it makes me sad, really sad.

Jesus’ name, Man of Sorrows, brings me great comfort in this moment. I think of his anger and frustration as he tossed tables in the temple. I remember his weeping with Mary when Lazarus died. Jesus experienced all the emotions I experience which means Jesus knows exactly where I am today.

He’ll not be turned away by my sadness or frustration, my buzzing thoughts and times of anxious energy. I used to think so. I used to think any “negative” emotion was a sign of little faith or spiritual growth. That’s just not true.

What I understand now is Jesus, Man of Sorrows, walks hand in hand with me in my most emotional moments. Jesus understands because he lived it. There’s no need to deny life stinks sometimes. No need to speak flowery prayer words to cover what I’m feeling in my heart. He knows. Oh, how he knows.

Isaiah’s words describe the Man of Sorrows…

He was despised and rejected by men,
    a man of sorrows and acquainted with[ grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
    he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he has borne our griefs
    and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
    smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his wounds we are healed.
Isaiah 53:3-5
Jesus was despised, rejected, pierced and crushed. He was born to carry our grief and sorrow all the way to the cross. The pain and horror of crucifixion inflicted deadly wounds he still bears today. Yet death did not overcome Him.
 So I write these words as a reminder to myself and maybe you too.
He can move mountains to open supply chains.
He inspires treatment and cures for a virus with no cure.
He brings hope in the midst of despair.
He can work through leadership even when they aren’t working together.
He can protect our healthcare workers.
This is the God we serve.
The wounded warrior who conquered death for you and me.
By his wounds… the whole wide world is healed.

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