He wouldn’t stop punching me in the arm. Hard. Again and again and again.
I was 9 and to this day I remember the details. It was recess and I was outside the classroom on the blacktop underneath the basketball hoop. I was wearing my favorite winter coat, a hand-me-down, dark blue Dallas Cowboys letterman-style jacket with metal snaps and greyish silver sleeves.
There were kids running and playing around us. I don’t remember where my friends were. I don’t know where the teachers were. I remember that all I could think to do was to try to pretend it didn’t hurt.
It wasn’t the first or the last time Tim (I remember his name, too) would use his greater height, weight, and strength to put me in my place. I knew the pecking order. He would remind me.
When I reflect on my 47-year journey, my body’s been through a lot. I’ll bet yours has, too. Perhaps much more.
During this Lenten season, Christians around the world make their way toward the Cross. Rich and poor alike, young and old together, men and women of all races we travel side by side. Bruised from punches, weary from walking, calloused from labor, flinching from abuses past, pulled by temptations present, skinned from falling, bent from burdens. We carry our infants, our weak, our wounded, our dead.
From this distance three weeks out, we can catch a hint of the lighted upper room where our truest Friend will break unleavened bread: “This is My body, given for you.”
For me, I walk this Lenten road because I remember that blacktop, the cruel smirk on Tim’s face, the silver coat sleeves hiding my pain.
But that’s not all I remember. I remember saying goodbye to my dad at age 3, throwing rocks at a smaller boy at 5, starting to drink at 13, hiding pornography at 17, my wedding night at 29, sitting helpless at my daughter’s hospital bedside at 38…
“Do this in remembrance of Me.”
I walk this Lenten road because I do remember. I walk to remember.
In prayer, I see myself at His cross. Bruised, beaten, broken, He remembers me, my body at 3, at 9…here, now.
I need this. My whole body needs this. I can feel it.
“This is My body, given for you.”
His words, so simple, so meaningful—reaching across the globe, sounding across the universe, filling all eternity.
Words not just to consider by intellect, but to heed: “Take, eat.”
Jesus, thank You. Thank You for giving Your body for my body. I need Your body!
Question: What’s one thing your body’s been through that needs the hope of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection?