S: Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. Matthew 14:13 (ESV)
O: You had just received word that Your cousin, John the Baptist, was killed and You withdrew to a desolate place. In this one sentence, Matthew captures a glimpse of Your humanness, and he pens it in his Gospel – the Gospel meant to reveal You as the Messiah. And though it breaks my heart to see You so sad, it also makes me fall more in love with You at the same time.
I wonder, Jesus, in Your desolation did You cry? Did You scream? Were You angry? Or Mad? Were there any words spoken at all? Or was this simply a moment of silent communion with the Father – Spirit to Spirit?
I imagine all of it.
And then, after pouring everything out – laying it all out before Your Daddy – I believe You looked upon Your Father and experienced a comfort – a filling – that could only be heavenly. A holy moment indeed.
Maybe it was then that You even broke out in song – worshiping Your Father, Your God.
A: Of course, none of this is penned in black and white – it’s only how I imagine it. But I know something happened there. Something divine transpired in this sharing of grief with Your Dad, because when You come ashore, You see the crowds and have compassion on them and heal their sick.
When I am grieving, when I’m upset or angry, the last thing I want to do is talk to anyone – even after I’ve been by myself.
But not You.
You turn to the Father. For everything. In everything. And it’s there that You find everything.
Everything needed to love and serve those around You. Everything that stirs compassion in a heart.
Even isolated on a boat – I believe You sought out Love. And I believe the Father poured out His Spirit until it overflowed out of You.
That’s the only way I can make sense of this. And love doesn’t seem to really make sense at all.
This is how I should respond when I’m sad and hurt.
I must turn to the Father. In the safety of His arms I can lay out the broken pieces of my heart. And He will put me back together. He will fill me with His Spirit, love and compassion. And He will guide me back to those who are hurting, so I can help them, too.
So I can point them back to You.
P: I love You, Jesus. Thank You for sharing Your compassionate heart with me. Please help me to have greater compassion for others – even when I don’t feel like I can, even when I’d rather be alone. Instead, please help me to always be kind. Help me to understand that we all have hurts, but You are always our safe place. Amen.
Photo by nastya_gepp