Lonely Birds

Recently I have been reading in the Book of Luke, and just the other day I was in chapter 23: Jesus' trial, the walk to "the place of the skull" and the crucifixion.  It's interesting what Luke includes in his gospel.  One of the few who includes the part that a man named Simon carried the cross for Jesus.  In this moment, women who loved Jesus were weeping for him as he followed the path.  What Jesus did and said caught my eye as I read through the account:

Jesus turning to them said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children."

"Weep for yourselves...?"  Jesus knew the time of judgement was coming.  Jesus knew the time was short.  Jesus knew what His destiny was... and "for the joy set before Him, He endured the cross..."  His trial, his pain, and his death was only temporary!

This past weekend I listened to some messages by Francis Chan; he shared the perspective God had burned on his heart, that the time here on earth is short.  He and his wife pointed to Colossians 3:1-4

Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

"When Christ, who is our life..."  He is our life!  These trials may cause us great sorrow, pain, and grief, yet what are these temporary things compared to the "things above!"  

I am still mulling over Jesus' words about weeping for yourselves.... Maybe it's okay to weep over the pain, in fact, it's probably healthy.  Pain isn't sin, it's just your heart talking.  Its good to listen and give it voice.  Its even better to invite God to speak to the heart in the pain.  Somehow, pain enhances my hearing!  You see... God whispers. 

One of my places of personal pain (and I am sure it is the same for all of us) is loneliness.  In recent years it's not been as intense, but lonely birds do come, and begin to swirl over head. I hate the lonely birds.  Stupid varmints, they poop all over the place when they circle above your head.  They make me cry sometimes.  They are painfully ugly and annoying.

Jesus knows what it is like to be alone.  This is profoundly portrayed in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ.  I had seen it years ago, but recently viewed it again for my Good Friday evening.   That day seems perfectly appropriate.

The opening scene Jesus is in the garden, weeping, agonizing, and sweating drops of blood.  His obvious humanness displayed as he asks the Father to take the cup from him,... "not my will, but Yours be done."  I thought it very interesting that Gibson put Satan in the garden, in a visible form, taunting Jesus.

He was taunting Jesus!  He was questioning Jesus' identity! Jesus, the Son of God, God the Son!

Gibson may not be a Believer but I think he got that right in the film because it's the same thing the enemy does with us: he wants us to doubt our True Identity as Children of the King of Kings.  He slyly uses every tactic he can, especially our own human hungers and weakness.  Pain and loneliness are vulnerable entry points for his crafty lies.

Viewing that part of the film, though the film is very brutal and hard to watch, was actually sweetly comforting.  I realized in a new way what Jesus did for me... yes, he went to the Cross, but He also went to the Garden, for me.  He knows what it is like to wrestle in the dark, alone.  He faced the tempter, the accuser, the father of lies, and defeated him there!

How amazing is that!

So, lonely birds, fly away.  You may not poop on me any longer today!


April Heflick said…
sweet reminder of our hope in Jesus.

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