Man of Sorrows

“He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” Isaiah 53:3.(Art=”Anguish.”

I am in Hollywood this morning, here on business for the CS Lewis Foundation. If you wonder why my postings are less frequent of late, it is because I am involved in a major project to convert CS Lewis’ home, the Kilns, into a year around study center. I am traveling a lot.

Last night at 10PM I received a call from the woman with whom I was to meet at 9:30 this AM. She was canceling because she had to be in court at 8:30 AM to get a restraining order against her husband. Outwardly successful and somewhat well known, she has been carrying a very private grief, and carrying it somewhat alone, as her husband, like many abusive men, is publicly charming. She is a woman of sorrows.

On the way to the airport I had coffee with a friend who told me of a teenage girl in his church, who due to her unwanted pregnancy is being sent to another state by her wealthy parents. They feel the change in climate (sunshine versus Seattle rain) will do her good as she carries the baby to full term and gives it up for adoption. They are hiring a full-time caregiver to live with their daughter so she will not be alone. She is a woman of sorrows

After I picked up my rental car I received a call from my wife, who told me of the hospitalization of a very dear young woman due to a recurrence of severe depression. She is a woman of sorrows.

A few weeks ago the wife of a friend of mine left him. After years of emotional distancing, she simply made it physical. 30+ years of marriage and some kids were not enough to keep them together and over the past few years he’s watched her slipping away. He is a man of sorrows, as is she I’m sure.

I am sure of something else. We do not bear our sorrow alone. In Isaiah 53 the Messiah is described as “despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.”

Since the release of the “Passion” last year, I’m sure many people think if Jesus’ physical suffering when they read this passage.

There is more. Throughout Jesus’ whole life he was acquainted with grief and sorrow. He was moved with compassion when he saw the people, harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses,” says the writer of Hebrews.

Yesterday as I encountered a succession of sorrows, I felt overwhelmed, and yet as I thought of Jesus I was comforted that we sorrow not as those who have no hope.

I am also convicted that we ARE hope to each other. We can and should provide whatever comfort we can to each sorrowful person on earth. Jesus was not only acquainted with grief, he entered it and we cannot simply issue comforting words to those in sorrow, we must stand alongside them and bear their burdens as we can.

There is only one solution for the alienation, loneliness and heartache in the land. The solution is the love of Jesus shed abroad in human hearts, carried by those who have experienced His love and healing, to those who need it.

Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends, Dick Staub.

PS. And remember, “these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have.” (For Now).

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    Posted in Staublog in March 8, 2005 by | No Comments »

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