My Mom read me an article recently, that an adoptee wrote about things adopted children often struggle with. To be honest, it was a pretty hard read. I knew I believed in the power of listening to others and hurting alongside them when you could do nothing else–but somehow I felt something in me shutting down to the heartbreak.
I’ve experienced pain in many forms, but this was pain I could avoid, walk away from. Someone else’s cross, I could choose to carry–or not. You might think I had already made this decision, but adoption isn’t a moment in time, it’s a journey. It isn’t my consent on a legal document, it’s my promise to always, always, always accept you. Sure, these kids were my siblings–that didn’t guarantee a natural, Christ-like love on the spot.
(Who am I kidding, is love ever natural? Yes and no–because we’re all sinful, but we’re also all made in God’s image.)
We were family, whether I liked it or not at that point, but that didn’t mean I had to bear their pain. I was faced, as I so often am, with the unexpected choice. There was no question in my mind as to what was right–Jesus bore our pain, our sin, our shame, in ways I can never identify with. He wants us to do the same. He wants us to care, He wants us to show up. He can do the rest.
I think there is something God is trying to teach me about pain, because shortly after this our pastor started a sermon series about the cross.
What if there’s gain in feeling someone else’s pain, just because we can?
Jesus said to take up our crosses daily and follow Him. I think he also wants us to take up others’ crosses, and help them bear them.
This Good Friday, are we willing to look at the cross, as it truly was–painful, ugly, shameful, and unjust? Are we willing to look at pain?