“For he who avenges murder cares for the helpless. He does not ignore the cries of those who suffer.”
This verse hit me like a ton of bricks today.
For some reason, just reading it dredged up the most traumatic experience of my life – and I realized I wasn’t finished grieving it. Grieving the loss, the damage done, the horror.
It was the day I died.
My true self, I mean. My dignity, my safety, my innocence, my hope – murdered.
You don’t have to physically be killed in order to have a piece of you die.
Harsh words can slash into your soul and kill your ambition and confidence. Neglect and abandonment can kill your security. Losing a loved one can kill your spirit. Abuse can kill your soul.
But there is an Avenger. (And no, he isn’t Ironman or Captain America. He’s far, far above those flawed figments of our imagination!)
The King of all Avengers! One who sees every heartache. Records each wound. Counts each tear. Another verse says He is ‘close to the broken-hearted’.
I know this in my head.
But there are parts of my hurt self, my damaged self, that struggle to believe it.
I’ve just realized lately that I haven’t forgiven God for allowing the abuse in my past. He could have sent an army of angelic beings and whisked me away! He could have blasted my abusers with a bolt of lightning!
But He didn’t.
And honestly, that’s hard to work through.
So today, I allowed my hurt self to express more of that grief, that sense of deep betrayal and abandonment. I sobbed. I moaned. I allowed myself for the first time to feel those deep lacerations, the places where my soul was the most damaged.
I invited Jesus in to those broken places, the places where trust was trampled and innocence smashed and hope obliterated. I raised my hands in worship! I chose to praise God in the very place I died, because I know the power of worship!
As I worshiped, I recognized that I had agreed in my soul that I had been utterly abandoned – and I broke my agreement with that lie.
I asked God to reveal Truth to that hurt little girl.
And a quiet peace stole over me as I became aware of the presence of Jesus. Jesus on a cross, suffering. Understanding completely what pain and fear and abandonment feel like – the agony of Father God turning His back as Jesus bore the pain and sin of the entire history of humanity.
The burden must have been unbearable.
What a Saviour – One who understands pain in a more profound way than any of us have ever experienced pain.
And One who chose to suffer, to earn the right to be our Good Shepherd.
I still don’t understand why so many horrible things happen.
I still don’t understand why so many horrible things happened to me.
But I choose to believe that my cries of suffering have been heard. I choose to believe that this suffering Saviour somehow preserved my core self during those traumatic experiences of my past. I choose to believe that a perfect God can use the scars He is healing in my heart to produce something beautiful.
And I choose to believe that this Avenger, the One who witnessed the murder of that little girl so long ago, will not allow the perpetrators to remain unpunished forever.
I am not finished with my healing journey.
There is so much farther to go.
But today, another chunk of the heavy burden I’ve carried for so long was laid to rest.
Have you suffered?
Has something been murdered in your soul?
The Avenger has seen. His heart suffers for your pain. He longs to help you come to terms with it, heal, and walk out of your grave.
Bring your pain to the Ultimate Avenger with me?
Father, our pain lies to us. It whispers that we are abandoned, that we are all alone, that no one sees or cares. Help us to break open just enough for Your Light and Love to penetrate the scars and bring us back to life. Amen.