While driving to work this morning, I was reflecting on all this while listening to worship music with lyrics about the Cross. As Father, Son and Spirit are One, the blood that ran down the cross was the blood of God Himself. Every drop of the cruelty of man towards man – and child – played out every day, was funneled, in gruesome measure, onto and into the very Body of God in the Person of Jesus.
In screaming agony on the Cross, Jesus cried out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Back to the innocents who daily cry out in like manner, even if they are too young to formulate the words or concepts, God can relate.
However, with God, there was purpose, forethought, planning, and voluntary submission to suffering. With the tortured innocents of today, all seems as purposeless suffering. Ugh. I don’t get it, and it makes me mad.
What I DO get, however, is just a very teeny tiny peek at the unbelievable ocean of God’s love for me, as an individual, as I picture His blood, oozing from His wounds, pouring down the wood of the Cross, seeping into cracks, dripping on the ground. So much blood.
When I was a teenager, I once sat in a friend’s house in the Virgin Islands, where I grew up, working out the details of how I was going to ship marijuana down to him from the mainland for him to then distribute on St. Croix. As we finished our discussion, I rolled two joints and put them in my shirt pocket for us to go out and smoke together somewhere, along with a buddy I had with me from D.C.
Then there was a loud banging on the door. “Open up!” the voice sternly demanded. It was my local friend’s uncle. My friend opened the door and in barged the six-foot-four-inch tall fireman shouting (in local dialect) “You tink I stupid? I heard de whole convahsashun from outside de window!”
When he came in, he walked right by me. I had already put the two joints in my mouth and had started chewing them up. Of course, my mouth immediately went dry so I was left chewing for quite a while! When he passed by me, I saw he had a 38-caliber pistol stuck in the back of his pants. It crossed my mind whether or not I should grab for it.
The huge man looked at my friend from D.C. and said “Stand up when ah tahkin’ to you!” My friend stood, and his legs shook with fear as if we were in a cartoon vignette. We were told in no uncertain terms to “Get outta here!!!”
We left the house and with heads held low to avoid getting shot – the man was now waiving the 38 – we climbed into my dad’s VW van. I was still chewing on the joints. It was too dark to see the ignition slot so I was fumbling around with the key, keeping my head down.
When I finally got the key in the ignition, of course, the engine refused to turn over. Ahnn, ahnn, ahnn. No luck. Finally it started. Keeping our heads down, with me still chewing away, we jetted out of the driveway.
The next day, we took all of our remaining pot and pipe paraphernalia, went down to a rocky overlook by the sea, and tossed everything away. I remember slinging a big red bong way out into the water where it sank beneath the surface, never to be recovered.
Back to the blood of God.
I’m not proud of the story I shared above. But, for some reason, the memory came to my mind this morning as I was thinking about the Cross, about the suffering of innocents, and about my relationship with God. I thought about the sea as a metaphor for God’s vast love for me…a sea of blood, if you will. I thought about how I may sling all of my doubts way out into it, where they may be covered up, finding peace in my very inadequate appreciation of His very personal and great suffering for me…and for the innocents.
I’m thankful for the blood of God.