I am writing this blog from the foot of my son’s bed. He has a particularly bad case of chicken pox and is having a very fitful restless nights sleep. I try to sleep myself but am so aware of his every move, moan or murmur that I flit in and out of consciousness so that I am immediately present when he needs me. He wants me close, wants company and asks for me to stroke his arms. I see the sore spots and I swoop in with virasoothe and piriton, gently massaging the angry areas and praying over his little body.
In amongst his suffering, struggling to ignore the itchy blistering skin across his body, my beautiful boy turns his feverish flushed face to me, and whispers “I love you Mommy”. As my heart bursts with sadness at his visible discomfort yet tender thoughts, I whisper “I love you too baby.”
You see love isn’t pretty. It isn’t instagrammed perfection, it isn’t neatly presented. Sometimes it is picking your way through the sore spots, sometimes it involves sleepless nights while we watch over each other and sometimes it is applying healing balm to open wounds.
The cross wasn’t pretty. It did not behold beauty, it displayed horror, it displayed suffering that no man should see nor experience.
Yet one man did, and in doing so He saved the world. And that is love.
Jesus saw our restless spirits, He saw our open wounds and aching hearts, and He took our sin upon His shoulders in order to take away our pain. As Jesus sits at the right hand of His Father God in Heaven He still sees us, He instructs the Holy Spirit Himself who sits at our bedside, watching us as we sleep, waiting to rush in and soothe us if only we invite Him in.
And the most beautiful thing we can do in return is to turn our own feverish flushed face to Jesus and whisper “I love you” out of our suffering. Because He whispered it over us before time began.