Why Such Brutality in Love

If God is a God of Love, then,

  • Why did Jesus have to experience such brutality?
  • Why did  Jesus have to go through the torturous and humiliating passion?
  • Why did Jesus have to die a death of agony through the crucifixion?
  • Why was Love so brutish to Love Themselves?
  • Why did Love not just find a more gentle and loving way of demonstrating Their love to us and for us? After all, anything and everything is possible with God.
  • Why did Love choose The Way it did for our salvation?
  • Why did Love not just go from the Letter of the Law to the Law of Love in a more “humane” Way?
  • If God is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, and eternal, why not just “offer” it to us as a Gift, like so many other Gifts that are given to us?
  • Why put Themselves through such agony?
  • Why does this Gift have to come dripping with blood, skin lacerations, humiliation and ridicule, a crown of thorns, spikes through the flesh, and eventual death through asphyxiation?

God breathed life into Adam by blowing Their Breath into Adam’s lung. And then, God took away Their Life by denying that very same Breath to Themselves in a torturous manner. WhyWhyWhyWhy?

When I have asked others, the answers have varied but the most standard reply has been “love”. I get it. But it still does not silence and give peace to my “why”.

Whenever I ask God the “Why?” question, I always get the same response: “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth…tell Me if you understand such things.” Job 38 (For the full Chapter of God’s questions/statements to Job’s “Why?” question, see below this article.) This response always lets me know gently that i am way out of my league in even asking the “Why?” question. Its natural implication is that i TRUST and keep going. Sometimes, on the rare occasion or in time, the “why” is shown to me. I have realized that with God, I am on a “need to know basis”.

Annually, when we celebrate The Passion in Holy Week, it almost feels like we keep reinforcing and reigniting the brutality by going there, being there, and partaking in it. It almost feels sadistic. And yet, as I reflect over my life’s journey, I have felt a deep connection to the various  people in the Holy Week events. Yes, I have felt that I have been the victim, the allower, the betrayer, the observer, the one who would not stand up to the crowd, the accuser, the plotter, the warner, the mocker, the nail driver, the cross carrier assistant, the self-righteous one, and,  the weeper and wailer, oh yes, very much the weeper and wailer.

And yet, simultaneously, in my journey, Holy Week, with all its brutality and eventual Resurrection has been comforting and healing. By associating with the various roles, it has helped me process my thoughts and emotions in my journey. Crying silently in public, in church with others as nonactive, silent, non-aware witnesses is reassuring. Seeing others cry is bonding. It takes great courage being so vulnerable in public. I see them in a different light. I see more of their Hearts and not just their external persona and projection. This is a wonderful and Grace filled moment.

However, as of the past few years, my perception is and has been shifting. As i am, and have been embracing the concept that The Soul chooses or is Divinely assigned certain lessons for growth and evolution, i am now realizing that “the victim” outlook is no longer fitting. i have now even reached a point to where i am GRATEFUL for the “thorns, scouragings, mockery, and betrayal” in my journey. I now see that these experiences actually SERVED me because they purified me and humbled me. Although, it certainly did not feel like it when in the midst of the lesson. They helped me get a better grip of my ego/pride. They helped me reign in my wild and untamed ego. They helped me get closer to God like i had never imaged i could. Now, is that not a wonderful Gift.

And then, the Resurrection. Oh! That glorious Resurrection. Being in a sanctuary full of like minded Minds, Hearts, Spirits, and Voices all singing, praising, and worshiping, is a holy gathering. It is heaven on earth.  The unity and the focused energy strengthens my faith, my hope, and my resolve for the journey. I learn from others and grow stronger through their example of faith. Onward seems not only possible, but inevitable. It is like the Light in our individual Spirits and Souls gets brighter and recharged when it is near others praying, worshiping, and reverencing God. This is a beautiful Gift. For this i am beyond grateful.

Will i ever in this earthen journey understand why Jesus’ last few hours were so heart wrenching? Probably not. i am quite certain that most likely i will find out upon reuniting with Him in full Spirit. Until then, i keep on trusting and taking the next step in my faith journey.

For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. 1 Corinthians 1

Abundant Wisdom, Love, Blessings, and Trust,                                                             Irena As I Am                                                                                                      03/31/2018

 

The Book of Job, Chapter 38, NIV

The Lord Speaks

1Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:

2“Who is this that obscures my plans

with words without knowledge?

3Brace yourself like a man;

I will question you,

and you shall answer me.

4“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?

Tell me, if you understand.

5Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!

Who stretched a measuring line across it?

6On what were its footings set,

or who laid its cornerstone—

7while the morning stars sang together

and all the angelsa shouted for joy?

8“Who shut up the sea behind doors

when it burst forth from the womb,

9when I made the clouds its garment

and wrapped it in thick darkness,

10when I fixed limits for it

and set its doors and bars in place,

11when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther;

here is where your proud waves halt’?

12“Have you ever given orders to the morning,

or shown the dawn its place,

13that it might take the earth by the edges

and shake the wicked out of it?

14The earth takes shape like clay under a seal;

its features stand out like those of a garment.

15The wicked are denied their light,

and their upraised arm is broken.

16“Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea

or walked in the recesses of the deep?

17Have the gates of death been shown to you?

Have you seen the gates of the deepest darkness?

18Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?

Tell me, if you know all this.

19“What is the way to the abode of light?

And where does darkness reside?

20Can you take them to their places?

Do you know the paths to their dwellings?

21Surely you know, for you were already born!

You have lived so many years!

22“Have you entered the storehouses of the snow

or seen the storehouses of the hail,

23which I reserve for times of trouble,

for days of war and battle?

24What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed,

or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?

25Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain,

and a path for the thunderstorm,

26to water a land where no one lives,

an uninhabited desert,

27to satisfy a desolate wasteland

and make it sprout with grass?

28Does the rain have a father?

Who fathers the drops of dew?

29From whose womb comes the ice?

Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens

30when the waters become hard as stone,

when the surface of the deep is frozen?

31“Can you bind the chainsb of the Pleiades?

Can you loosen Orion’s belt?

32Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasonsc

or lead out the Beard with its cubs?

33Do you know the laws of the heavens?

Can you set up God’se dominion over the earth?

34“Can you raise your voice to the clouds

and cover yourself with a flood of water?

35Do you send the lightning bolts on their way?

Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’?

36Who gives the ibis wisdomf

or gives the rooster understanding?g

37Who has the wisdom to count the clouds?

Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens

38when the dust becomes hard

and the clods of earth stick together?

39“Do you hunt the prey for the lioness

and satisfy the hunger of the lions

40when they crouch in their dens

or lie in wait in a thicket?

41Who provides food for the raven

when its young cry out to God

and wander about for lack of food?Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Can you tell me?

Come to Me

Once upon a time, a long long, LONG, time ago, it was 2:49 am on a southern Sonoran Desert winter’s night. I was snuggled warmly and safely in the arms of a blanket and a bed in a retreat house in a little corner of Holy Trinity Monastery. My sleep was peaceful, deep and restful. And then, The Voice came, hovered in me and awoke me.  Oh, The Voice always comes at the most unexpected times.

“Wake up.”, were the words whispered into and onto me.

I awoke and was immediately at attention.

Then I heard, or rather more like, felt on my Heart these words,

“Come to Me.”

“What!”, was my response and defense and denial.

“Come to Me.”, came back softly, gently, lovingly, and understandingly, for He too had been in flesh once and knows very well its frailty.

“But it’s 2:49 am. It’s the middle of the night. It’s SCARY out there. There are no lights. There are “things” out there in the night, in the wilderness. Unimaginable things that may do unimaginable things to me.”, was my plea and retortion, to no avail.

“Come to Me.” The Voice said, but now it was more insistent.

“Yes.”, I finally acquiesced with my Heart.

The Voice did not have to tell me where The Voice wanted me to go. I just KNEW in my Heart where I was being summoned to. I knew that He was calling me to Him. I knew He wanted me to visit Him at the foot of the “old rugged cross”. I knew He wanted me to spend some time with Him in the middle of the night, in the dark of the night when it was quiet and still. I knew He was testing me. He was testing my faith in Him. He was testing my trust in Him. He was testing my love for Him. He was testing my devotion and commitment to His Way. And, He wanted to prove to me, just how trustworthy He truly was. This, of sorts was an invitation to an initiation. It was an initiation into a way of life of obedience to Him, no matter how I felt, how things looked, or the defense my mind was preparing. It was His High Way or I was going to be on my own and at the mercy of my thoughts and the thoughts and expectations of others. Luckily, Grace stepped in and bolstered me with a heavy dose of Spirit Courage and Humility.

Even though I had a choice, if I wanted peace in my Heart, I knew I had but one choice, and that was to listen and respond. With this in mind, I got out of bed and since I already had pant pajamas on, I put on a warm jacket, shoes, and went out into the dark night. My Heart was beating, my mind was racing with fear thoughts, my belly was squeezed tight, and adrenalin was flooding my body. As I stepped out into the night and walked down the gravel road, I tried to be as silent as I could so as to not draw any attention to myself from whoever or whatever may be peering at me from the dark forest. I kept my head low and my gaze focused forward. I dared not look sideways into the darkness. In my mind and Heart I was not just praying, but begging for strength and courage. And They gave it to me. But the plot thickens, because I also had to walk past a cemetery. Oh yes, They always make a Faith invitation an interesting course.

But with all this inner noise and turmoil going on I did have the presence of mind to notice that the moon had been so large and so bright that I did not need my flashlight. I noticed that I could see very clearly and distinctly. I noticed that from the light of the moon, I cast a shadow on the road ahead of me. My shadow was the scariest thing that I had encountered.

I knew that I had to walk and not run the distance to the cross which was about a city block long.  By forcing my self to walk and not run, I was keeping the fear in check while still being able to keep my presence of mind. Had I ran, I would have let fear overcome me, overshadow me, dictate my behavior and then I would have lost all sense of me. Thus, as I walked past the cemetery and up the hill toward the cross my main goal was just to take the next step, and breathe. Just take the next step, and breathe. Just take the next step, and breathe. I was totally and completely in the moment. Nothing and no-one else existed anywhere, but my breath, my step, and my Heart attuned to Divine Support.

When I got to the cross, on my knees I immediately went, without even thinking. My hands wrapped themselves around the wood and my forehead touched the rocky ground. I was called here to revere the life giving cross. I was called here to take up my cross. I was summoned here to make my bond with the cross. I was going to take cues from the cross in how I was to live, in return, the cross would espouse me and wrap His arms around me and my life. It was our union. It was our reunion.

The cross has remained faithful to me, even though at times I have wavered and hesitated and delayed in my love response to the cross. This is the human condition. This is normal and nothing to be ashamed of nor scorned. But rather, gently accepted for what it is, live with it gracefully, and just do our best in each and every moment.

When I did make it back to my retreat room, and closed and locked the door behind me, I signed a huge sigh of relief. I am human after all: and humans waver. Otherwise we would not need the support of Love. As I snuggled back into the cocoon of the bed, I was in awe and wonder of what had just happened. I savored every moment like lovers savor every glance and  touch. It was also a profound lesson in observing and feeling the fear, but doing it anyway. It showed me to not be at the mercy of my fear, but rather at the mercy and grace of Love.

Little did I know back then, that this was just the beginning of these invitations to trust. There were going to be many more in the years ahead. But the good news is that each invitation to trust was accompanied with the Grace of The Universe at my back. I was not alone. I was not expected to do it alone. I was surrounded by Love. Love imbued me with strength, courage, power, wisdom, gratitude, and profound humility toward The Voice.

Abundant Wisdom, Grace, Courage, & Humility to All,                                                      Irena As I Am,                                                                                                                      In His Service and In His Love