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Blinded by Grief

While we were taking our morning walk, my husband and I had a “misunderstanding.” I wondered if the sour feeling would lessen our ability to worship that day. Then on our way to church my husband kept asking about my reactions to Jesus’ crucifixion. That was the lesson he was about to teach in his adult class. He wondered how anyone could watch their son die that way — and yet, besides Mary — God, the Father, and the Holy Spirit had to watch Jesus die.

I told him that I could relate in a small way. I could remember how difficult it was for me to hear our five-year-old son scream for me when he was taken into surgery years ago. I could not follow him or hold his hand. He was on his own as he slipped into the lostness of anesthesia. That memory will always break my heart. Jesus had nothing to dull the pain of separation except for his faith in God’s love.

“Would you like to know when you are going to die?” Of course, each day means we are one day closer to our deaths. I remember the days leading up to my mother’s funeral and just wanting to get beyond that day. What was it like for Jesus to know when he was going to die? He had told the disciples about the time frame and they really weren’t paying attention. We surmised what it was like for him hanging on the cross — feeling emotional pain just as much, or more, than physical pain. Going into a death from which he could not be certain he would return. With some of his last breathes he focused on forgiveness for the guilty, and care for his mother.

We pondered the disciples’ grief as they waited after Jesus death. Had they followed Jesus in vain? They had lost their best friend and teacher — the dearest, kindest person they ever knew. Their sense of loss must have been so very dark and strong. We know the ending to the story but they were blinded by grief and vanishing faith.

My husband was so moved as he drove that he asked me for some tissues. I did not want to mess up my mascara as we talked, so I choked back my tears. Of course, I felt great sorrow for all involved in that awesome weekend many years ago. I felt gratitude for a God that would part with the Great Intimacy of Three to save the very people that would like to destroy their Creator. The day that changed history. A terrible day and yet a day of hope.

I was left in the wonder of witnessing my God’s love, and how much it has touched the heart of my husband. This same man who tracks his Fantasy Football scores, who fixes the toilet, who snores in my bed, who still struggles with bad habits–is close to tears when he ponders the cross of Jesus. I have noticed that my husband’s focus on Jesus leads him to greater compassion with people, and often with my annoying ways.

Truly, Jesus’ resurrection power was not only displayed in his physical body, but it exists every day in the hearts and lives of His believers. “And his incomparably great power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 1:19-20, NIV).

Written by Karen Spruill

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About Karen Spruill

Karen Spruill

writes from Orlando, Florida.

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