Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I recall one day when BJ had come home from school on the bus and was hurt and frustrated because one of the other boys on the bus had called him a derogatory name in front of the other kids. As I recall, he was still in grade school but that didn't lessen the frustration or hurt. His face showed his frustration with the boy as he recounted what had happened and tried to process through it.

Can you recall a time when you knew that you had hurt, or maybe let down a loved one simply by a look that came over their face (and burned into your memory)? Maybe a time when anger got the best of you or they overheard you saying something that was hurtful? Do you recall how you felt as you realized what had happened?

Imagine how Peter must have felt after having just denied knowing Jesus for the third time. Not only was his denial trumpeted to him by a rooster crowing, but Luke 22:61 says "The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter." Peter, like Judas before him, "went out and wept bitterly" over what he had done (but unlike Judas went on to serve the King he had denied that day).

Talk about "if looks could kill." This look, however, wasn't one of hate or anger, I believe, but one of deep and knowing hurt at the denial of a friend at one of the darkest hours of Jesus' life. How must Christ have felt as he realized betrayal and denial from not just those who hated him, but those who loved Him as well? I imagine that there was also compassionate understanding in the look that Christ gave Peter, but there is no doubt that the countenance of Christ at that moment has to have been one of the most convicting moments someone could experience.

This incident in the life of Christ serves as evidence that He did in fact know the pain of being a man - the emotional as well as the physical. This is somehow encouraging to me in times when I am feeling low and wondering if God truly understands my pain or frustration. I take heart in knowing that Peter was the rock on which Christ would build his kingdom, yet he denied knowing him in a moment of desperation. Christ knows that we are not perfect. This isn't license to deny Christ to save ourselves (so to speak), but an illustration of the depth of the grace for those of us who will never deserve His favor.

The experience in BJ's life was one of those that most of us experience as we grow up. But he was never to complain when someone called him by another name that many today see as or use as derogatory, one that truly did represent who he was - "Christian".


At 12:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Were we all to wear that name as a badge I wonder what this world would be like...

Thanks for the writings they are very helpful each day.


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