At thirty-three, he discovered that his wife of fourteen years was unfaithful during her company business trips. Suddenly, his life was chalk and rubble.
“I don’t think I’ve ever loved you,” she said after the boys had been safely tucked in bed. And he wept.
“I am unmoored.” he cried to God. “I am afraid. What will become of me now?”
At eleven both her parents were killed in a car crash. Over the next seventy years, she traveled the world, pursued her calling, and was the loyal friend everyone longs to have. She never married, choosing instead to devote herself to God.
Last month her best friend died, leaving her utterly alone and careening into the dreadful dark. And she wept.
“I talked to her every day for the last thirty years,” she cried to God. “I am afraid. What will become of me now?
At forty-five, he wonders what will happen when he is exposed for what he really is: Feeble. Cowardly. Unprepared. Unheroic. Anti-climactic.
Will he still be welcome home? Will her eyes still light up when he walks in the room? Is he worthy of his children’s friendship and love? Will he be left, shamefully and deservedly, alone? And he wept.
“I am unacceptable to this world,” he said before pulling the trigger to end his own life. “I am too afraid to see what will become of me now.”
What do we say to this soul suffering? How do we shine a warm light into the bitter darkness that threatens to swallow dismayed people whole?
There is only one cure for the fear and dread of our soul, and it’s to fasten ourselves to the holy One who most suffered, and now sits at the right hand of God.
Jesus wept. He stood in front of the cold grave of his best friend and all the grief, love, loss, and fierce anger at death swelled up and spilled out in wracking sobs.
Jesus was not rescued. He refused to call down the angels and was rewarded with slaps, spittle, and a spear through his side. “My Father, if it’s your will, let this suffering pass from me.”
Jesus was cast off. He was a grave miscalculation; a damning disappointment; an anti-climactic let-down to his dismayed disciples.
The naked man on the cross was not who his followers had prayed he might be. They were unmoored and afraid. What would become of them now?
Soon enough these same disciples would understand that their teacher – the man of the cross – had, by his sacrifice, defanged death.
They had seen Jesus of Nazareth, in tears, stand with his friends at a grave and command Death to stand down for one man. “Lazarus, come out!”
And on the cross, they saw a Father, in a sea of grief, watch his only son suffocate under the sins of the whole world.
And then they were witnesses to God raising Jesus up on third day. On Easter morning, the Father glared at the grave and commanded Death to stand down. For his son. For you. For many. Forever.
And so we are not unmoored! Even though everything around us seems like piles of rubble, we are anchored securely to God. The spirit of Christ that lives in you is something more precious – more real and alive – than all that is unfaithful, dreadful, disappointing, and dark in your world.
What is to become of you, then? Fix your eyes on Jesus, take up your cross, and follow him home.
For you are becoming who God has intended you to be in the fullness of time: holy; radiant; unashamed; satisfied, beloved; free, and perfectly whole.
Peace to you in your becoming,