It is said that even more intimate, more personal than the phrase, “I love you,” are the words, “I understand.”
If you live long enough, there is a good chance that you will experience one of these situations:
- The doctor walks into the waiting room after what seems days, not hours, the expression on his face is grim. He delivers news you do not want to hear … you or someone you love dearly has a terminal disease.
- You receive a call from a law enforcement officer or a family member informing you of a … tragic auto accident … drug overdose … suicide … unexpected death.
- Your spouse informs you that they do not feel fulfilled and are seeing someone else.
- Your boss takes you aside, thanks you for your years of service, then informs you that those services are no longer needed.
You feel abandoned, betrayed, … the human reaction is to look skyward and scream … “Why me?”
A little over two thousand years ago the God-man hung on the cross and in his dying throes cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
As the divine left the human, as hope fled, as a sense of abandonment and betrayal settled in, he could have just as well said in modern English … “Why me?” What did I do to deserve this? And this coming from the last person without sin.
Of course we know this was not the end, the story continues. These were not his last words on the cross. His final pronouncement in purely human form was, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” Words of reunion, words of an absolute trust in the darkest of times.
Those are words of hope and promise and I cling to those words, but I also take comfort in those words uttered when things seemed hopeless and dark.
As someone who is very much human, I can relate to “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” I can relate to, “Why me?”
This is a reminder to me that as Christ walked among us, he experienced the ups and the downs, the good times and the bad. He experienced loyalty, but also betrayal … life, but also the death of someone he loved. Most importantly it lets me know that in addition to His unconditional love … He understands!
Happy Easter, Poppy