A Suffering Love

Love, nailed to a tree, His broken body bled out for me.

His heart broken, His heart surrendered, He bore my sin – the evil enslaving me.

Hands outstretched, searing pain as soldiers hammer nails into hands that washed feet and opened blind eyes and welcomed children and draw me in even now.

Love risked – with no regrets.

Love gave – freely.

Love suffered – humbly.

For His enemies, for the ones nailing Him in humiliation.

Mouth silent in the face of His accusers.

And I – I could’ve stood there and said He was innocent. I am guilty. Not Him, take me.

He was blameless. He is.

I am the criminal deserving of a cross. I am the one led astray by my own deceitful heart.

But Love still came and bled out for me.

And rose.

He rose again. Love broke apart my sin and gave freedom -gave life – to me.

 

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Only Jesus

There were moments when Chloe overthought every moment like a movie critic and then moments when she wanted to scream and block all the memories out.

Her heart pounded as she walked into the sanctuary.

You’d think that church would be a safe place, but it really wasn’t. Not today.

Why did hope feel untouchable? Why did her heart feel like it was caving in and like everything she’d worked so hard for was all crumbling at her feet? Why did she feel like pulling back and pulling out of everything He had called her to?

Her breath caught as she watched him out of the corner of her eye.

And the anxiety mounted. But where was her trust? And why on earth did she allow him to be more powerful than God in her life?

Or maybe the infatuation and attention – the idea of someone had become godlike. Dangerously so.

But the emptiness and silence permeated every moment. There was something awfully stinging about rejection. It wasn’t just the knowledge that that person had moved on and was somehow wonderfully whole and contented. That all of their dreams had been realized in the aftermath of another shredded heart. No, that wasn’t the worst of it. The worst part was the paralyzing fear of ever being able to give her heart out again. Without expecting it to getting pitched back in her face.

But she would give it out again. And hurt and break apart. Because wasn’t that real living? Wasn’t that what Jesus had called her to? Real love broke and shattered and waited for the only One to build it up again. Maybe her own idea of a perfect life was intended all along to be broken so that someone else could build it more wisely. Like how God gave Nehemiah strength and resources to rebuild Israel. To wake them up and remind them to quit living in the ashes of their broken places, but to build. And maybe this season was all about building too. Building and working and moving.

Not a striving and achieving but a surrendering and moving toward the cross. Letting him restore and repair the broken.

Why had she chosen a life of fear? Was fear her god? Or Christ?

She had worn doubt and cynicism like a badge of honor and she was ready to throw it on the ground in repentance. To turn around. Abandon her will. Give it all up to Him. Regardless of the criticism. Of the stinging loneliness that penetrated her soul. That stuck it’s talons deep into every aching wound of the past. You’re still that insecure, broken, failure of a girl. It would hiss. And it would be right. Except when Chloe remembered the Cross…

I will never leave you nor forsake you.

Jesus came unlike a man would come. Jesus came to deliver, redeem, identify, draw in, and save. And wasn’t that everything she’d ever longed for? And she had tasted His love. But somehow in the mess of her life and of her brokenhearted quest for perfection she’d rejected this foundational truth and reality.

Bring me back. Break me down. Take me back. Restore. Save. You are my Savior. The only one who can heal my busted, broken heart.

Only Jesus can rebuild what’s broken. Chloe clung to this truth. It didn’t matter what she would face, only that she would face it with Him. He knew the way. His plan surpassed the clichés and the doubts and the seemingly irreparable.