While this week started off as it normally does it de-railed on Tuesday then on Wednesday, yesterday I had a tooth pulled. Everyone who has ever suffered from a tooth ache and especially recovered from having a tooth pulled knows how hard it is just to move through the day. Why is it that such a small thing as a tooth can stop you dead in your tracks. Well, that's what happened to me. I woke up this morning, ready to lead a Maundy Thursday service for my co-workers and quickly realized I could not do it all by myself. I learned yesterday that if I talk to much my mouth starts to hurt. I found a co-worker who was willing and able to assist me and a nice service was had, communion included too.
After lunch it struck me that part of the Stations of the Cross I had installed last week reflected on how Jesus had to rely on someone to help him carry his cross. And the question came, "Is what I am going through right now a small taste of what Jesus went through carrying his cross?"
Despite the pain in my mouth I went to walk the Stations in our chapel on campus and found it difficult. Not really surprising because tooth pain seems to be the one pain that we have a hard time ignoring. Jesus had been flogged before he was given his cross, flogged almost to the point of death. If tooth pain can distract me from the Stations of the Cross can the pain of flogging distract Jesus from his purpose?
We can accept Jesus' humanity when he asks his father to remove this cup from him in the Garden of Gethsemane. If it was within Jesus to ask to be spared is it also not within Jesus to be so overwhelmed by physical pain that he is unable to focus on the purpose of the cross? I am inclined to believe so. Yes, Jesus did die upon the cross for us so that we would be redeemed but he did undoubtedly suffered up until his final breath.
If you are experiencing pain of any kind may the Lord grant you peace as you find solidarity with Jesus who understands the pain.
The Lord be with you.