I wasn't sure where my words would take us. I had one other thing on this Lent idea. [well, maybe it would classify as two] So... here I go.
Afterward, I believe I might try to do something that, for me, is unthinkable. In April, I'm going to try to do more on myself. Especially ...what I might call: "the Rest of Myself". Parts of my story might find it's way into it. Yet, I want to try to put other parts of my story in. It wasn't all dark. I'd kind of like to prove that. So here's the "last of Lent"
I have a challenge for those of you who are willing/ followers of Jesus.
#1. Whatever you've done. Stealing chewing gum from a relative, to bullying, to hurting someone. No matter what it is. No matter how long the list is...
on Good Friday imagine that you are in a court room. On trial for it. All of it. You're guilty. Everyone there knows it. Reasonable doubt, is a joke. It's a slam dunk. As if you were filmed by surveillance cameras. The guilty verdict comes. Just before the sentencing, though. Jesus walks in. Walks up to the railing. Politely asks to speak to the judge. After hushed words, He steps back. The sentence is read. However, you are told you are free to go. While the constable walks up to Jesus & puts on the handcuffs & walks him out to sentencing. Because that is what is really going on on Good Friday. The carrying out... of our sentence.
I drew this once. You can try that also. I drew Jesus. A REALLY bad drawing of him. From the back. He's looking over his shoulder to me... & I used my pencil to carve into his back... everything. Things I've done... things that were done to me. He took it all on. I don't know if I posted this before or not. When I went to see The Passion of the Christ the first time... I prayed before I saw it. [I often do this with movies I "feel compelled to see"] During the whipping scene, I found myself saying, over & over again: [thankfully I said it inside my own head] "I. am. so. not. worth this."
It felt like Jesus had, at some point, walked into the theater & sat beside me to watch the film with me. as I said those words over & over inside my head. It felt like he put his arm around me. Gently drew me in close to him. And whispered calmly, lovingly: "Shut up Brian." -and I suddenly stopped. I had a similar experience when I went to the theater to see X-men 3: The Last Stand. I felt like Jesus & I watched the whole film together. Yet, the moment that stands out the loudest,was: When Jean Grey was standing on the mound of broken stuff. Re-bar, concrete, etc. & Wolverine walks up toward her. As she tears him apart with her mind. Seeming to separate his molecules from one another. He keeps walking up to her. Till he stands in front of her. She is so angry, she spits out: "You would die for them?!?" As tears run down what's left of his face, he looks into her eyes & says: "No Jean. Not for them. For you." It felt like Jesus was saying, into my mind, not the usual way we hear things. "This is us. You're Jean...& I'm Logan [Wolverine]" As this washed over me, it caused me to think of all the horrible things I've thought about myself. It's quite a long, & very imaginative list of terrible sentences to speak to one's self. Not to mention things I've said about me, "out loud".
A frustrated bully: "brian, I hate you". My response: "Get to the back of the line, I was here first."
Funny, how you can be the sick, evil Warden...of your own prison. Population 1, you.
if you make a list, if you copy the drawing idea. When Easter comes...mutilate the list. Burn it safely, or shred it... render it unreadable, un-salvageable...utterly given over to destruction.
#2. The only other side I can think of.
Whatever has been done to you: bullied, beaten [up or down], told you were "the problem"/no good/worthless, emotional, physical, sexual, and/or self abuse, shot, held prisoner, set on fire, cut...
Imagine Jesus walking in... perhaps into your heart, your mind...your memories... "that vault" where no one has access. Where you hide the "deal breakers" of your life. The things that: "if 'they' knew, they would drop you like a bad habit." Imagine him standing there. Looking at you. Slowly he raises his hand. Opens his palm, face up. In front of you... imagine yourself, placing ALL of those things into his hand. As you do you feel the hole in his hand, you see the rope marks on his wrist. [hopefully you don't really know what rope does to someone's wrist when they struggle] Then, you let him leave with it. All of it.
Part of the beauty of Jesus is he came & experienced our pain. He lost someone [Lazarus]. He wept over Lazarus, before raising him to life again. He was beaten, humiliated, abused. In a conversation I had with someone shortly after they heard me tell them of the abuse I suffered. I believe it happened during Lent that year. I told them this:
"Jesus & I are similar. And we are very different.
We are similar. In that we were both abused. By people who should have loved us. It wasn't our fault.
...& we are very different. Because...at least my Dad...didn't have to watch."
Not really sure what to say next. I guess you can, maybe, see why this Jesus means so much to me. I knew Christ during the years I was abused. There were times where I felt like he was there. In the room. No...I wasn't sure what to make of it, either. I'm still working on writing my story. Until this year, I wasn't sure why I would write it. Why anyone should be allowed to read it. ...now, having read Renee's book... I get it. Still scares me, but I get it.
It rained here... all day. Supposed to tomorrow, also........
reminds me of a song, by Michael W. Smith. Healing Rain. [maybe one day I'll post a writing I did to this song]
Well... good night.
May His grace drip from your fingers,