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My Peace, His Pain

April 10, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 157

Have I ever told you of my aversion to tears? Or maybe I should say my past aversion.

The eldest daughter of two people pushing their way toward divorce, I knew little peace in my young years. I grew up with a dad who feared tears and knew less about how to handle them. So, he progressively drove them out of me. He never abused me in a traditional sense, but he did sentence me to a tearless life.

Never wanting anyone to have access to the deep personal recesses of my mind, I hid tears so often, I stopped feeling them. Even years after my Dad's death, I still couldn't or wouldn't cry.

This bothered me.

Some people might like it but I felt as if I'd become some sort of robotic being with no feelings. Fake tears, I would happily avoid but genuine feeling and compassionate tears eluded me.

Have you ever experienced this?

In desperation, one year I prayed for God's help in my tearless world. I prayed He would help me to let down my self-protective walls and be capable of feeling whatever it took to genuinely cry. It probably sounds silly to you, but I did pray this.

Nothing happened.

What did I think would happen? A spear would fall from the sky, skin my little toe and I'd burst into tears. I don't know, but whatever I thought, nothing happened.


I found myself sitting with a bunch of teenagers from my church watching a Passion Play put on by another church. We watched the story play out before us of Jesus birth and life and eventually His death.

It should be mentioned, I was an adult at this time, studying to become a pastor. I'd recently visited Israel and walked in the steps of Christ along the path they call the "The Way of Suffering." Plaques along the way stated things like, "he tripped here." It felt artificial and surreal. I couldn't take it seriously even as I stood on that ground in that space.

The memory of Jerusalem rose in my mind as I watched the story of Christ unfold on the church stage. As if a synapses newly formed, something clicked in my brain. I thought about how I live and where I live. I envisioned wars around the globe and prisoners who cling to the hope of Christ.

I suddenly saw my Best Friend struggling on the stage. The One who listened, the One who gave, the One who loved me stumbling and unable to stand. The actor disappeared and I was one of the people on the street, that hideous day. I stood there and let it happen. I watched my Best Friend get led to His death.

It hurt my being in such a deeply profound way, suddenly a little bit of H2O formed in my eyelid. I felt it and found myself tempted to quickly wipe it away and push back the thought, instead, I let it roll down my cheek. Then, another came. I didn't convulse like an infant. As a quiet observer for whom a painful gift was offered, the tears flowed.

A struggle came to my mind. Would I stop it if I could? Of course I couldn't, but had I been there, would I?No.

I would have been just as scared as the disciples. I would have cowered in a corner and hoped against hope it would stop. But I would not step up. Would you?

He did it for me.

Perspective moment. Jesus walked on water. He spoke and huge waves stopped. He touched people and unhealable diseases vanished. At His word, a dead man and a dead girl came back to life. Jesus wasn't a passive observer in this experience. He chose it.

He chose to take this torment to relieve mine and yours.

My tearless eyes had held within them pride and arrogance but also fear and personal loathing. I couldn't cry for anyone else, because I couldn't cry for me. Now, suddenly I could.

I could cry for me.


Because I was so sorry. Deeply within my being I felt such a sorrow for my failings before God. Here Christ had done this courageous, life-giving thing and I didn't deserve it, me who wouldn't have spoken for Him.

As we sat in the church watching a play, the tears streamed from my eyes. I understood for the first time a verse I'd known for years.

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

After the tears poured out of me, a peace washed over my soul in such a graciously wonderful way. As if God Himself were comforting my saddened heart and letting me know it's okay, I felt calm.

My daughter often wonders why we call it "Good Friday" when the pain Jesus experienced wasn't good. I reminder her, His peace and love is good, and that's enough for me.

Have you experienced the peace God wants to give you?

Paula's writes and speaks to help couples and families grow through her faithful choices approach to life. As a wife, mom, ordained pastor and persistent friend Paula knows the value of the choices we make each day. She longs to help people get where they want to go by helping them see the choices available to them. As the Faithful Choice Advocate Paula writes a daily blog at

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