Bearing the Marks



…Christ does not banish tragedy but carries it into the heart of God.
…in the forty days that followed (the resurrection), Christ was not magically made whole but bore the marks of his passion, and would not rest until we placed our hands—and our hearts—inside them.
~Gregory Wolfe from Seattle Pacific University’s Image Journal, from “The Tragic Sense of Life”

This week brought local news from Seattle Pacific University of yet another person with mental illness making a conscious choice to end his own life by random killing of others.  His personal and private pain becomes magnified exponentially through creating public pain and tragedy;  in this age of “selfies”, it is the ultimate in self-absorption to purposely erase innocent lives just so he will be remembered.

I often see broken people in my work — it is the nature of a primary care clinic.  The vast majority do not seek ways to break others; instead they seek the glue of compassion, a listening ear and sometimes medication that can be a balm of healing their wounds. A few harbor such anger and resentment that their anguish becomes such uncontrolled bleeding that society can only be a tourniquet to make it stop.

Christ showed the way to walk through such unimaginable pain and tragedy.   He carried his bleeding wounds, though his pulse was stilled, straight into the heart of God.   The marks he bore were from us, for us and about us, so we would always remember his sacrifice.

If we bleed, when we bleed … he returned to invite us to reach inside the wounds we inflicted and be forever healed.