God choose to inhale sin and death so that those who receive Him might live free and join His dance. Seventeen years ago, her daughter was murdered. The murderer was the daughter’s brother-in-law. The mom recently sent me an email that said, “I am still trying to forgive him for the murder of my daughter.”

A lady named Terry said to me recently that her best friend had just been diagnosed with a terminal disease and that her sick friend’s husband had abandoned and divorced her. She prays to die everyday. Terry wants to fix her situation so badly. She said of her friend’s pain in life, “She lets me touch her but I don’t know if I can reach her.” These stories are lived out by the millions everyday. Crosses with nails still exist.

Maybe the woman whose daughter was murdered knows something about the feeling of being nailed to a cross.

Maybe that young woman who prays to die and Terry who stays by her side knows the feeling of being crucified.

It’s not easy being crucified. Some are nailed to a cross. Others are nailed by a loss.

The sound of the pounding of the nails echo in our souls now. The pricking of a finger, the paper cut of a thumb, none of these come close to what we experience on a hill of horrors. It is here that the scabs get ripped away. The stitches are pulled out with a violent force.

When you and I see the pain, we must name the pain.

A family approached me to tell me “Our son died of AIDS four years ago.” Name the pain. Oftentimes, that is all we can do. Name it. We can’t cure it or get rid of it. All we can do is hang by it and claim it as our own. Jesus was rejected so that you and I could be accepted.

When there is no other place to put the pain we name and claim, we can put it at the foot of the cross.

When we kneel before the cross of Christ stained with precious blood, we are not alone.

If we will just listen to the wood, you will hear the voice of a loving God saying,

“I love you. I share your pain.”

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