This Season of Lent has brought a period of sacrifice to all of us whether we had intended to sacrifice something or not. All of us have had to give up our getting together. And if you are like me, the ability to spontaneously say let’s go grab something to eat has been severely hampered. I miss our face-to-face contact with friends. FaceTime or Zoom doesn’t do it.
But during this time I have found myself much more reflective as we move towards Good Friday and Easter. I have found myself pondering whether Christ felt not only the anxiety of knowing the thorns, the whippings and the Cross that lay before him but also was feeling the ache that comes in times of anticipated separation. Many times in my life I have had to face the situation in which I’ve had to say a permanent goodbye. My first experience as a first grader moving from one community to another because of a family move, I remember feeling the intense ache and sadness knowing I would not see these friends again.
I will never forget the intense ache that I felt as Donna and I and boys ages two and four walked down the jetway in Portland to board a plane to take us to Africa. Many friends were gathered around who had been very special and, of course, there were grandparents and aunts and uncles there whom we would not see for four years. What a painful moment!
I have pondered many times across the years the physical suffering that Christ knew that He was going to face. However, I have never stopped to also think there must have been a deep emotional ache as he pondered leaving his friends and family. The Scriptures tell us that he felt our emotions as he lived here and was tested as we are.
Pause today to reflect on what he felt for us as he faced the Cross not only in his physical suffering but also his mental and emotional agony.
Paul Wardlaw, elder