The counselor's compassionate eyes steadily followed my tale about the punching bag.
“I just feel everyone sees me the same way,” I said. “Especially those closest to me. I have to stand and take their blows and anger and hurt. I feel like a punching bag.”
I guess I needed to say it.
He understandingly nodded and in the most calm voice I’ve ever heard, he said: “So, you’re all alone hanging on your cross.”
My black eyes of receiving end of the hurt had made me exchange the imagery of the cross for a punching bag. But when the correct image was revealed, everything suddenly made sense - shockingly so.
It reminded me of how I can miss the obvious. I’ve read that I must pick up the cross of Christ daily and follow him. I’ve heard sermons and theologies based around that one scripture.
The disciples were told by Jesus an infinite amount of times that his life was one of dying to himself. But when Good Friday came, they were as shocked as I was in my counselor’s office. In fact, even after His resurrection, Jesus had to join them on the Road to Emmaus and spell it out.
I don’t know how many hundreds of times this has played out in my life. I act surprised when I suffer as though something is strange, out of wack, to be blamed on the devil or to be commanded away in the name of the one who has been telling me all along that life can feel like a boxing match…until I take my gloves off.
Then, life feels more like a cross.
PORTAL TO HEAVEN: Good Friday is one of the most beautiful-ugly portals to heaven. Yet, the portals were open as witnessed by the conversation that Jesus was having with his Father. It’s pretty clear by that same discourse that he suffered so and was deeply hurt. But Jesus was not surprised.
Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy…Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, ‘This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day…You are witnesses of these things.’
1 Peter 4:12,13 NKJV, Luke 24:45,46,48 NIV,