Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Greater even than Me

It is quiet, and dim. Worship music plays softly in the background, and shadows fall softly against baby's face. I trace the line of his cheeks, his hair, his ear with my fingers. Finally there is a solace- a break from the business and noise. Here everything seems to make sense: this sacrifice of my life, my strength, my very self. Here the great demands placed on my life by one human being seem right, even necessary. I lean my head back and murmer scriptures, and silent prayers. Here, there is a peace. A break from the incessant inner and outer noise that has been my life these last few days.

But tomorrow will invade soon, just like it did the day before. A day of demands placed on a woman who has nothing left to offer. Even the boy in the gospel story had fishes and loaves to present to Jesus, but this woman has only inner brokeness. I have offered my time, my effort, my strength, my sleep, even my very food and drink, and still I feel surrounded by my own failures and shortcomings and the expectations of neglected children, neglected housework, neglected lover. I can't do this. It is true. I have nothing else I can give.

So I lock myself in the bathroom, and in a brief moment alone I open up my yawning chasm before the Lord. I tell Him my grim selfishness, all my ugly complaints. I tell Him of my great inner horror, and that I don't feel I can go on. Even the intense, poignant, amazing beauty of my relationship with baby is draining my joy after 4 months of night wakings; never less than two, often at least 6 times I respond to his cries and gently lift him out of his crib; I pull him to my chest and offer comfort- offer the very thing I don't know how to find. The one thing I feel such a desperate and urgent need for. My innermost being is desperate- a beggar.

And in this place of inner deficit and depravity, and full honesty before God I can think of only one thing that is even uglier than a selfish mother and self focused wife.

It is a cross. It is a perfect Savior born for murder; born as a delicate and fragile baby, whose mother woke at night to feed Him, just like I feed my baby. A holy infant, destined for a crucifixion. It is a son of man who never sinned, and yet BECAME sin for me. He didn't just die on a cross to forgive me, but He, the Innocent Beautiful, BECAME the inner horror that I don't know how to face. And not just for me- He became the inner horror and ugliness of all mankind. All of us. And He bore the full weight of the wrath of Holy God for that depravity which He became.

So I ponder the awful wonder of a God who could love me that much. To become my horror, so that I could leave it behind. So that I wouldn't have it! And a certain inner stillness comes. Not completely a peace, not just yet, but a soberness and a stillness that is greater than the turmoil around me.

And I need that.

I need to know that there is something; Someone, so much greater than my sin.