By Published On: April 5th, 2023Categories: Leader Blog, Meditation for Preparation0 Comments

Jesus, in my pain, in this disappointment, in the hurt I haven’t even processed, I need you! Even if there’s been no other time I’ve ever really sought you, I need you now.

Our leaders fail us. Our minds play tricks. Our memories deceive us. Our shows distract us, but don’t guide us. Like a sailor looking for stars to guide them on a cloudy night, we look to your eyes to guide us in this life.

And yet, when we read your in your word that You are the Son of God; that you are the Way, the Truth, the Life; that you will never leave us or forsake us; that you are the forgiver of sin; and when we look into your eyes to find your strength, Jesus, we cannot miss the deep cuts on your forehead from crown of thorns. The crown you took for me. And seeing them, I wonder, “Does it still hurt? Are those pains like my pains? Did the crown leave splinters? Do you feel old pains like I do?”

Oh, Jesus, my friend, I know you feel it too! I need you for my friend, Jesus of the Scars!

This world, it seems too glib: I turn off the TV and my phone and walk outside, and the quiet can be overwhelming. I’m reminded of all that’s gone wrong. Nothing around me helps; nobody completely understands; no books, no apps, no chat, nothing I scroll soothes the pain, the hurt, the trauma.

But I know what helps. You, Jesus. Your grace, your mercy, your scarred face and hands are healing. I’ve been hurt; you’ve been attacked by a mob. I’ve been disappointed; you’ve been sold out. And yet, in feeling the pain, you offer me love.

I can hide; I can distract myself, and you remind me. Come close, Jesus, and remind me what you endured!  Show me the holes in your hands where the weight of the world ripped you. Show me the wound in your side that proved you were really dead.

I know pain! Don’t hold back, Jesus. Oh, how it helps to know YOU know! YOU know torment; You endured such abandonment, such unjust torture, such damning judgment.

You’ve got scars, me too, but my scars and your scars are not the same. Yet somehow it means so much to know you know. My pains are unique, but, Jesus, you know.

You know! “Jesus, my Lord, and my God!” What else could I say? You’re the God who knows pain and remembers. You wrote down the story of your pain, so I’d know, and so I’d remember.

The other gods are strong. My career promises me glory and influence. Money and medicine promise me freedom from pain. Family promises me companionship that never stops. Confidence promises me freedom from doubt. Mission promises me a purpose. Sex promises me bliss. My Nation promises me freedom. Religion promises me a structure and a heritage. Academics promises me a reason. The other gods are all so strong!

But you made yourself weak. You stumbled while carrying your cross. The scene of your death looked like a disaster.

But to my pain, my weakness, and my limits nothing else makes sense. No other god speaks my language. “Freedom from pain?” I feel pain every day. “Companionship?” I can feel lonely in a group. “Freedom from doubt?” I’m only sure I’m a fool. No, nothing adds up.

Except you, Jesus. You’ve felt it all. You FEEL it all. And like that time you showed up in a locked room just to see Thomas, to show him your scars, I need you. I need to know you feel it and remember you rose victorious! I know you know me. My Lord of Glory, My God Who Felt Pain!

You reign in glory! You ascended to the Father! You are God the Creator! You are the Messiah, the Sovereign!

And yet, still, you know my pain. On a throne, seated by the Heavenly Father, is a man who knows every pain I have ever felt. You forget my sins, Jesus, yet you remember my tears.

Merciful savior, turn me around. Call my name. Let me recognize you through tear-filled eyes. Be my God, my fortress. Let me run to you for help! Promise to always be my friend, my leader, my counselor and guide! You’re the only one who understands me, Jesus.

No god has wounds, except you, my God.

If we have never sought, we seek Thee now;
Thine eyes burn through the dark, our only stars;
We must have sight of thorn-pricks on Thy brow,
We must have Thee, O Jesus of the Scars.
The heavens frighten us; they are too calm;
In all the universe we have no place.
Our wounds are hurting us; where is the balm?
Lord Jesus, by Thy Scars, we claim Thy grace.
If, when the doors are shut, Thou drawest near,
Only reveal those hands, that side of Thine;
We know to-day what wounds are, have no fear,
Show us Thy Scars, we know the countersign.
The other gods were strong; but Thou wast weak;
They rode, but Thou didst stumble to a throne;
But to our wounds only God’s wounds can speak,
And not a god has wounds, but Thou alone.
“Jesus of the Scars,” Edward Shillito (1872-1948)