Today I read something online that depressed me utterly. Scared me, depressed me, horrified me. Nevermind what, because I've no wish to depress, horrify or scare anyone else, and everyone runs across such things sooner or later anyway. But I was sunk in a slough of "oh God, why did you give me children when they have to share world-space with men such as these?" I'm sure you know that awful feeling you get when you're faced with evil too utterly bleak to bear contemplation.
I told my husband what I was feeling, and why, and after supper he went over to his computer, and next thing I know, I hear a sure, steady voice booming across our kitchen, reading St. Paul's letter to the Corinthians.
"Thank you," I mouthed to him. He nodded and gave me a smile, and we kept clearing the dishes.
Scripture helps. Scripture to music helps even more. After a bit of time listening to Paul's heartening words (Paul is heartening even when he is chastizing), we put on Handel's Messiah.
And I sat, and I listened to the choir sing that Christ has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. "Surely. SURELY. He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows." And I suddenly had a picture of Christ, strong and sure, his back broad enough to hold the depressing horror I had read about, broad enough to carry it. He suddenly seemed bigger than all the world in my eyes, and more good than I had beheld him before. Surely, surely. And not only was his back broad enough to bear that horror, but he was good enough to overcome it. It shrank and was swallowed up in the strength of his goodness. It could not stand before him, the One who faced it on the cross, who died, who harrowed hell and who rose again, triumphant, Lord of heaven and earth.
That is what he suffered when he hung on the cross, that is the guilt he bore when the Father turned his face from him. "The scum of the earth" is more than a catchphrase. It is what he allowed to cling to him, that he might destroy it forever. "And with his stripes we are healed." My current nightmare and more, all nightmares, he faced and suffered, that they might not have eternal power over his children, over those the Father gave to his care.
Surely, surely. And I love him, because he first loved me. And this is the love wherewith he has loved me. That he would stand between all of us and the powers of hell. And not just stand, but overcome. That is the might and majesty of our Lord, Jesus the Christ. Amen and amen.
peace to you, the peace of Christ to you,