This has been a bit of a tough week for me, but it has brought a couple of powerful moments that are the kind that simply make me weep. Not because they are hard, but because they are beautiful, and they remind me of the incredible love of God for His children.
A couple of days ago, I woke up with one eye severely swollen. By the time I could get in to see my doctor, it was swollen completely shut. My doctor, who normally greets me with a big, hearty smile, a neat story, and great joy, took only half-a-second to change his normal demeanor to one that showed deep concern for my present situation. The difference in his face was powerful, but it didn't stop there.
He came near me and, as he got close enough to see, he said, "I have to pull this eye apart a bit to make sure your eye itself is okay." And with great tenderness, he proceeded to do just that.
In that moment, I could think of nothing but the tenderness of Jesus.
You see, that's what the Lord looks at in me every day. He sees these horrible effects of my brokenness, all these places where I am clearly hurt, where I am clearly in pain, where something is clearly not right, and I can see the love that He has for me written all over His face. Even His eyes change. They tell me about a thousand things about what He's thinking in that moment, about what He's feeling, about the way that His heart has been moved for me.
And as He draws near, He says essentially the same thing - I need to pull back this brokenness a little bit, just to make sure that your heart is okay. And with great tenderness, He proceeds to do just that.
Maybe that makes me a bit unique in terms of the way that I am willing to be loved by Jesus. I think so often, we get into this mindset where we want Him to just heal us. We don't want Him to be tender with our brokenness; we want Him to be ruthless with it. We want Him to use His power to rip it out. We want Him to use His skill to excise it. We want Him to make it better, and now.
But things just don't work like that. At least, I've never found that they have. These things take time. You have to be tender with them. He has to be tender with them.
And there's something about knowing that you're okay already. At least, I mean, in part. My eye itself? It's fine. It's a little troubled right now, blocked behind this massive swelling. But my eye itself is okay.
So is my heart. Of all the broken things that I've had in my life, I've had these beautiful moments with Jesus when He draws close, pulls back the brokenness just a little bit, and says, "Yes. Good. Your heart...it's okay." It's just a little blocked right now.
I don't know what it is, but these are my favorite moments. Every time someone is willing to look beyond my brokenness and see that, you know what? I'm okay. Things are a little grotesque right now. Things are a little rough. But the core of me...it's okay. There's something beautiful and completely healthy underneath all that. I don't know...it causes me to weep. Not because it hurts. Not because it's broken. But because through all that is hurt and all that is broken, something beautiful has still been found. It's right there. And it's okay.
This is the tenderness of Jesus.
And man, it gets me every time....