And that's what you did all the time, Jesus? You hurt all the time?
The car in front of me followed the round-a-bout around? Had to stop when a car flew out right in front of him. My window was down and I heard his yell, his complaint, arms flailing. That car zoomed round paying him no time of day. Papa? His anger - I don't want him to have that. Those words, they ended up being choked out - I was crying? I was crying how I cry for me - that ache inside? I never felt it for someone else before? I tried to say words for this person up ahead in that car and I've got tears and why is there this ache?
Is this what compassion is? I'm kinda dazed, driving past those rolled barrel of wheat things - compassion is to feel their pain as if it was your own - and it becomes your own.
And if you read gospel then what you read is that anytime Jesus ever did anything - he was moved by compassion? That word salvation, its Greek sozo? Means wholeness. Salvation has never been about getting off easy? Salvation is a simple story: compassion. Compassion is a simple story? To co-suffer. Suffering is a simple story? To break. Breaking is a simple story? To become whole. It is startingly simple and it is blazingly - like hell - painful.
Jesus bent over in the dirt, writing with his finger? While some gang of leaders stand with rocks to throw at this woman who, yeah, they'd found unclothed with some man? They wouldn't let up, kept nagging Jesus. He said the person who hadn't done anything wrong -- they could throw the first stone. Moved with compassion? He didn't understand her pain. He didn't love her in her pain - don't tell me that. He had her pain. It was his own. Maybe when he says I don't condemn you either - he is professing his shame? Jesus is wrought with their shame - Jesus is beat with rejection and humiliation -
wait, wait, wait. Jesus, when they come? He's sitting. They announce the stoning? Jesus bends down into dirt, writing. Then he stands? Says the perfect person can throw the first stone? Then he bends down again, they walk away - and he stands and speaks to the woman.
Sits, bends, stands, bends, stands. There is something cruciform about this, its not coincidence - and how this lady stands? How they've stood her in plain sight of everyone, and she stays?
And what these people are even saying? 'Moses, in the Law, gives order to stone such people' - Jesus here, he wrote that law on that mountain, pressing his finger into stone? - gave it to Moses?
When they say this, that's when he bends into dirt and writes with his finger, writes into the dust He formed us out of? Jesus is standing in front of this crowd, pulled from some stance of shame, waiting for rocks to be pelted, slammed, smashed into him? Do they know his pain? They think this woman stands alone? He's wearing her shame and his chest is pummelling with the heart beat that threatens the break and how she's barely covered now, how they're covering their eyes at what she can't disguise? He's bending and writing and standing and bending and writing and standing -
and yeah, wrought with shame and beat with rejection and humiliation - when he says does no-one condemn you?
"Neither do I. Go on your way. From now on, don't sin." To break - to become whole -
the dust stone comes out of? The dust we're made of. Stone commandments and stones to throw and dust to write in, dust to form Man out of -
how she was completely unhidden? How they'd broke into her broken and left her standing - and they all walked away? Why? Why did they all walk away?
The sinless one among you, go first. They all walked away... beginning with the oldest. I'll walk away a million times - not out of conviction? Out of shame.
The woman was bleeding inside, those wrecked edges she'd kept bandaging over? They pulled her in and while they were dragging her across the temple floor over to where he sat - the edges in him tore all up, blood dripping inside him and where she wore old bandages? It flowed out of him. We saw it pour out his hands - but the bleeding started way before then. Way before When.
I idealised my broken, made it unlike any shame - and walked it away every, every time. I romanticised my broken to the extent that I made out like I thought it was beautiful? When all I did was hide it, hide from it, in shame. My broken never saw the light of day - and you and me never both bled into Whole.
I'm the one always walking away, not out of conviction, but out of shame. Still carrying the stone.
As if I thought you could con authenticity. I've hid behind broken without entering it. I've explained broken, complained broken, accentuated broken with tears. I've maintained my own ideal of broken precisely to avoid admitting that broken is what I'm most afraid of and what I am most trying to protect myself from. Every vague proclamation of my broken has really been my own careful deflection of any arrow that had power to pierce my unbroken. And now I see, now I'm broke and I fight the edges of me where blood drains... I fight the bleeding edges for control.
I'll tell you why, maybe you already know? Why those men, oldest first, all walked away? "At the core of every one of our issues is this attempt to construct our identity on something else besides Christ."
You don't even dig very deep before you realise this shame you didn't even know was shaping your makeshift identity. The things I've painted all over this skin identity, how I've known myself to be too far from the ideal I insist I've got to be - and I pretend to you like I'm there, like I'm my ideal, like this is where I want to be? Like I've pulled this over me and wear it like invisible flame: I live out of a need to prove to my 'rivalry' that I am worthy of what I desire - even though I don't think I'm worthy at all.
The woman is bleeding and she's been covering it up so long? And Jesus walks up to her and he says I don't condemn you either - and she sees the blood pouring down the edges of him. Same bleeding edges as hers?
Oldest walked away first? The rest followed?
That bandage isn't really sticking through all that blood. It's kinda flapping up on the edges, sorta peeling, blood seeping out.
She might've walked away with her bleeding edges that day, in the wake of all the rest of them. Someone right there on the ground, though? He broke right then in all her same places.
He suffered her pain exactly there - exactly where she stood was exactly where he bled.
Our own salvation, sozo? Is not really our own at all. These bleeding edges... we don't choose this sacrifice?
We're literally, grace-fully, broken into it. And it hurts like hell. And I'm ashamed of my broken, and I hide my broken and I'll be bandaging these wounded edges like there's no shame.
We are broken into this sacrifice of compassion. Compassion, co-suffering, breaking, whole. I thought it would be a one-time thing. A few hours on a cross and then arise! Wake up! Resurrection!
I'm still trying to get a handle on it, this: it's an every day thing and we'll learn our name out of our co-suffering. Jesus was serious: suffering marks us, marks our lives, marks today.
There's this cross drawn on my wrist and Papa keeps tilting me toward it - stay with it, stay here, stay at today. I'm with you here.
This heart's all jittery. This cross bends with my skin, this makeshift identity - kinda being shifted all cruciform.
I don't know it yet, but he calls us Beloved.