Today we officially enter the Lent Season. I grew up Protestant, and so distinctly Protestant that somehow I missed the whole, what is Lent season, until after I went to Bible College. I even sneaked through a course on Western Civilization without having it properly explained to me.
After I went to Bible college, I started work for an incredibly pagan man in the catering business. I became a server first and then ended up working in the office when they realized I had more than half a brain like a lot of the servers that were working for their next pot fix.
I worked for them for almost 8 months when Ash Wednesday rolled around. Since we always had tons of food (catering) we could eat lunch free. That Wednesday our mostly Mexican chefs served us fish and only fish.
I didn't realize what it was until one of my office collegues said, its Ash Wednesday and had to explain to me that today, we eat fish and we will eat fish every Friday until Easter. I found it strangely ironic that it took working for a man far away from God and even religon for me to find out what Lent is.
Yesterday was Fat Tuesday, and I had never really realized what that was, until good ol' Wikipedia said, WE EAT FAT! and tomorrow we don't. Gleefully I made crepes (pancakes or crepes are traditionally eats I was informed)...and as I stood over my crepe pans, the whole idea of Christ's suffering crept into my brain.
I find standing over the stove a nice place to meditate, and as I meditated on the ancient words of Isaiah, "By His stripes, we are healed", I began to wonder again what that meant.
On my blog I always speak honestly, but today, I will speak clearly. With various events in the last two years, I have been wounded. Andrew and I have both been in different ways. People have disappointed us, we have had a lot of mud slung at us, we've watched someone painfully die, and we've seen how friends and family have not known what to do with us in our grief and pain. After a year and a day of grieving, the worst is behind us, but our wounds are still visible. Our bodies are weak and tired, and Andrew and I have gone between stomach flu and bad coughs and colds for the last three weeks.
When the woman came to see Jesus at Simon's house, Jesus had been greatly offended by his hosts. He hadn't been greeted properly, his feet hadn't been washed, and no one had anointed his head with oil. This is the equivalent of not answering the door when its rung, not shaking our friends hands or hugging them, and not showing them the bathroom when asked. Jesus was brought into Simon's house to be offended, and not to be shown good ol' Middle Eastern hospitality, which I've experienced and is by far the best in the world.
Jesus' wounds, his stripes, are usually thought of in the phyiscal sense, because it really did happen. He really did experience those stripes and wounds. But what if, those physical wounds were just a visual for us of the physcological and mental wounds he received far before that. He was called a glutton and a drunkard. A man that visited sinners. A man that let a woman touch him who was a sinner. A man who healed people that weren't Jews, who didn't deserve to know or even meet or even touch the Messiah like the woman with blood.
All these wounds, Jesus experienced. And when I experience the same, like He did, He heals me.
I stood over my stove crying over my crepes. When I am wounded, I identify with Jesus. I take up my cross. I follow Him. And then, He heals me, to do it all over again.
May this Lent Season help us identify with Him, and find healing. May we not focus on His suffering without realizing the redemption it brings.