When I first realized that I was going to miscarry for the second time, after having been faithful, prayerful and everything else I thought I should be doing as a disciple of Christ, my very first reaction actually had nothing to do with the loss of my baby or even the loss of my dreams for our family, rather it was feeling a loss of God. I cried out in my bed, in my husband’s arms, in my car, in my mind while I was teaching Spanish:
“WHERE ARE YOU?”
“WHY HAVE YOU DONE THIS?”
“YOU HAVE ABANDONED ME, FATHER!”
A wise (and seminarian-trained) friend of ours gently reminded us that those were also the very last words that Jesus Christ spoke before he died.
“Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani”
“My God, My God. Why have you forsaken me?”
Jesus, the beautiful, sinless, perfect Son of God, was brought to a place under the Father’s will that included not only suffering and persecution, but also the withdrawl of His Father in Heaven. As Jesus took on the sins of the world our Holy God separated himself from his Son to allow this once-for-all sacrifice to occur.
I have been very blessed not to have experienced deep suffering or loss in my life up to this point, so while I have understood the theology of what happened on the Cross, I couldn’t entirely relate. I am certainly not saying that I even now fully understand how the Messiah felt as those words came forth from his mouth two thousand years ago, because even though I have such precious intimacy with God through the blood of Jesus and am called his daughter, I think that the intimacy within the Trinity is more than I can ever imagine. And while I don’t mean to diminish the physical pain that I experienced, the excruciating torture of hanging on a Roman cross is something I will never feel.
Nevertheless, singing, “When I survey the Wondrous Cross” the other night I felt closer to God than I expected. Of all my own feeble attempts to become more like Jesus through striving and to-do lists and disciplines, God has chosen to make me more like his son through suffering and pain (I assure you this was not on my to-do list nor in my book “Disciplines of a Godly Woman”). This realization, oddly enough, is helping to restore my faith that God is actively involved in my life (something I had been questioning and doubting in recent weeks) and that He is still at work pruning the Kirsten Tree.