She spoke quietly, dry-eyed, of being molested by uncles, beaten by a live-in boyfriend, of living on the edge of poverty on the edge of the world. Each story revealed another reason her too-tiny body was aged beyond her years, leaving her like a mangled wild flower clinging to life in a shallow crack. But none of the stories seemed to upset her. It was all she knew.
Until she reached down to the bottom of her years, and pulled up the memory from when she was 6, when the world should have still been a playground. She described the day the carving of her life slipped and the chisel nearly broke her. It was the day her mother said, “I am going,” and she turned and walked away, never to return.
‘Can a mother forget the child at her breast?’ the ancient words ask. Yes, she can, is the destroying answer.
It was the story of when she was 6 that melted this tough woman and brought tears out of the flat eyes because there’s no sting like being left behind, rejected.
“I feel so…abandoned…” texts another friend when her husband separates. The screen silence screams the void. What is the answer? How does one fill this terrible black hole that touches all of us at one point or another? How do we keep on living…alone?
‘Men will always fail,’ I type back, breath held.
‘Always. People will always fail us.’ I remember my pastor looking directly into my eyes at a young age and telling this truth so I would know it. Because divorce or death, fatigue of patience or painful words, forgetfully or accidentally or purposefully—people will fail. We are all broken and we all break others.
‘But Jesus…’ I start to text back but hesitate. Can a story change by the arrival of the Hero? Can the curse of the ages of humanity be solved by one Man’s appearance? Can that black hole of the soul—the one that is eternally alone—be filled?
‘He’s the only One who will never leave. Never fail.
The only One who can truly love,’ I hit send.
The Jesus of John 3:16 “For God loved the world so much He gave His only Son, Jesus, that whoever believes in Him will not die but have eternal life.” That’s the only One who has conquered death and outright selfish sin so He’s the only One who can love and love and love—without fail.
I suddenly can’t type fast enough. It sounds trite—too easy of a solution—yet I’ve seen it and I’ve known it.
And it wasn’t an easy solution for Jesus. In a cosmic clash of the powers of the universe, God gave Himself up as the sacrifice. Justice demanded punishment for all the hurt, the evil, the sins. Mercy gave Himself to take the punishment. Jesus gave up all the glory and power of the throne of all the world, to become a human baby.
He came to be with us. But he was hated, hunted down, rejected, despised, disrespected, misunderstood, wrongly accused—and crucified.
He lived a life that was always loving, always self-less, always perfect, but then took on the sin of all. He died for all. He loves you. He chose you. He wants to be with you in everything.
“But God demonstrates His love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”—Romans 5:8
The only response required is acceptance. He is offering a place in the family. We have to decide if we are willing to be adopted. We have to be willing to let go of our filthy rags, and He will help us put on new clothes.
It’s that simple.
It’s that hard.
I continue to pray for my abandoned friends. I continue to pray for all of us to rest in the unfailing love of God, no matter how abandoned we feel.