When I was 10, I was parked outside a gas station on the South Side of Chicago. My dad was inside paying for gas, I was sitting in the passenger side of his truck. My curious A.D.D self, constantly aware of what is happening around me, turns to my right, I see two gentlemen yelling at each other about money. Within a few seconds, all I am hearing is “pop…pop…pop…pop…pop…pop”. One of the guys runs away, while the other guys walks to the street corner and collapsed. A trail of blood following him. By the time he collapsed, my dad returned and we were on our way.
I am reminded of a story of Jesus. Jesus was preparing to be crucified in a garden, and, he was overwhelmed with sorrow. He was there with some of his friends to keep watch and company with him, however, they continually fell asleep. All Jesus wanted was for his friends to comfort him in his brokenness. Later, when he was being crucified, we experience Jesus cry out “my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”. He felt a deep absence of God on the cross. During these last hours of Jesus’ life, we can see a lonely Jesus. One who felt abandoned by his closest friends on earth, and, by God on the cross.
I don’t know what you have endured in life. For some of you the horror is too much explain. You’ve been neglected, abused, raped, violently beaten, and, mocked by those who you felt the most loved for. For others of you, your friends have mistreated, your relationships don’t quite satisfy, you don’t feel understood. What I am sure of is that we can all relate to this Jesus. This Jesus who has felt the abandonment of others and God. In this way, you are understood, you are not alone. Because Jesus says to you “You know part of me, because, you have experience what I have experienced. And, I know you because I felt what you felt, I was present with you then, and, I am present with you now.” We know the crucified Christ, when we are in tune with our own suffering. Even more so, we are known even greater by the crucified Christ, because, he has endured all things.