Yesterday my daughter was running wildly/happily around the park with a broad grin spread across her face. Such joy is hard to watch without getting caught up within the laughing, giddy moment myself.
Around and around she ran, when finally one misstep took her quickly down on a sliver of concrete surrounding the playground, her face and teeth and mouth making a quick jerk downward and then bouncing back from the impact. Her scream of pain was immediate as well as a bright red drips of blood. Tears, snot and blood mingled while she grabbed at her mouth as her father gathered her up with, "I have you's," and "It's gonna be ok's."
My child that never cries despite bumps and bruises, cried hard for the next 20 minutes, only interrupted with gasping, broken, stuttering "What did I do?" and "I hope I don't ever do that again!"
Finally she fell asleep in bed and I lay next to her listening to her whimpering and softly crying in her sleep.
Three teeth had broken through the inside of her upper lip, her pain had broken my heart. I wished I could take it from her.
As soon as that thought entered my mind I chased it further. If I had the chance to go backward and replace my daughter on that bit of concrete, my head snapping back off of its hard surface, my teeth breaking through my lip, would I? I quickly decided that I would, perhaps it's easy to say I would in hindsight but still I made the decision, with a shudder.
I look at my life and grief and pain that I get myself into. Even on the days that I think I am doing pretty well I can see bits of pride and traces of selfishness tripping me, making the tiniest misstep that would send me heading towards the inevitable fall. A fall who's result is a life apart from Love. A living separated from true living. But, once, before time began my Creator/Heavenly Father sat thinking about me and the possibility of this broken life I would lead and decided He would separate Himself and take on the skin of an infant, filled with nerves and blood, that was weak and fragile so that he could grow into a man without sin who would understand pain enough to tell his friends that his soul was "exceedingly sorrowful, even to death"(Matthew 26:37). A man so distressed that he prayed at the last moment, asking his Heavenly Father if it was possible to "let this cup pass from [him]," or rather "if there is any way, get [him] out of this"(Both Matthew 26:39, NKJV & Message translation). He did't get out of it, in fact he willingly bore a beating so gruesome that "He didn't even look human— [He had] a ruined face, disfigured past recognition"(Isaiah 52:14). Then just beyond this beating, he was hung on a cross, whose wooden purpose was to provide a death that was particularly slow, painful, humiliating, public, and torturous. In fact the word excruciating is derived from the Latin "to torment, torture" by "crux or cross." Jesus, took my/our place,
"it was our pains he carried— our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us. We thought he brought it on himself, that God was punishing him for his own failures. But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins! He took the punishment, and that made us whole. Through his bruises we get healed. We're all like sheep who've wandered off and gotten lost. We've all done our own thing, gone our own way. And God has piled all our sins, everything we've done wrong, on him, on him." (Isaiah 53:4-5)
The pain and death that should be mine was transferred. I have a Savior who took it upon Himself and all I can do is accept it and live under the covering of rescue.
What does that look like?
What do my days look like, knowing His sacrifice for me?
These are the questions I will be asking myself as I catch glimpses of my daughter's swollen, bruised lip.
Lord help me understand the life that you have offered through much grief, distress, sorrow and pain. Jesus, stir in me relief, joy, thankfulness, and a desire to run telling anyone and everyone of this transfer of pain.