Saturday, February 1, 2014

When No Prayer Is Left

A mother gives birth to a child. She forgets all the pains she went through and looks at the wonder of her own creation – the joyful bundle and symbol of intimacy. She continues her sacrifice in suffering and in raising the child in her values, her aspirations, her dreams and makes him in her image. But the day he reaches dignified heights and looks at his mother as a gargoyle, misshapen by years of sacrifice, that day the broken mother knows the irrevocable pain of being a creator who lost creation.

A wife finds her husband missing and she may run from police station, to Church, to deliverance meeting but no one can assuage her loss. No amount of years will ever quench the questions that rage in her mind. She put her life in him. She shaped him. To lose him was to lose the home that was created. Only she understands the emptiness of the creator losing his creation.

A husband, who builds his wife, invests in her. He instils a unity of values. He envelops her with a language until she becomes him in tastes, in choice of diction, in knowledge and even in mannerisms. To lose her is to lose what he created. And the creator suffers not merely because of abandonment but because the creation has been mercilessly defiled. Hosea knew what a costly message he was called to communicate (Hosea 3: 1). Samson knew what a loss of allegiance means (Judges 13: 18) and he suffered even when she was judged (Judges 15: 1-6).

Then imagine the God who created us, against whom we have rebelled. He has redeemed us but we have wantonly rebelled and by repeated choice we have crucified him a second time. All right, not a second time but probably a millionth time. Look at him hanging on the cross. Look at the nails we pushed firmly into place. Look at the face we battered and matted with blood. Look at how we lacerated his back and left it hanging in shreds – all for the precious things we were unwilling to forgo. The extremity of such a desolation and intense grief is that there are no more tears left to run and there no more prayers left, even to utter "my God, my God why have you forsaken me" (Ps 22:1, Mt 27:46). The only silent whisper that remains in the end is, "It is finished" (Jn 19: 30).

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