Pierced!

MY WORLD

My heart was pierced this past month as I turned to put a dish in the sink, then turned and found Sharon on the floor and her head bleeding. As I tried to lift her back up, I asked her to push up to help me get her back onto the chair. She did so with great pain. I bandaged her head the best I could (not very professional) and then got her back to our bedroom and into bed. Our daughter Leslie arrived and we called 911. Soon two paramedics and four firemen took Sharon to the ER where they stitched up her head. An x-ray showed that she broke her femur.

I cringe every time I think of the pain she experienced, especially in response to my urging, “Sharon, you’ve got to help me get you up, you’ve got to push up with your legs!” Surgery and a titanium rod followed the next night. She is now in a rehab hospital recovering.

It was painful for me not to be able to see her for the last two weeks due to a no-visitor policy (coronavirus precaution). I was able to deliver some of her clothes but had to leave them at the check in desk. As I left, I stood outside looking up at the dark glass structure and called her in her fifth floor room. I knew she couldn’t see me, and I couldn’t see her, but it was as close as we could get to each other.

Sharon will be discharged this coming Thursday. Pray for her continued recovery and safety at home.

OUR WORLD

I am sure that the hearts of all us have been pierced by the Coronavirus pandemic, millions suddenly out of work, and then deaths, protests, riots, and looting in recent weeks. Writing from Uganda, Pastor Peter Kasirivu who has facilitated our training there wrote,

We have observed with concern and have been deeply saddened at the recent racial tensions in your beautiful country. We have watched on TV the riots and the looting, but we have also watched the many peaceful demonstrations all over your country.
He then added about the struggles he has experienced because of tribalism in his own country:
For us in Uganda the closest thing we can compare this to are the tribal conflicts that have led to tribal wars, two civil wars, and in the last 50 years of our independence, the corruption and nepotism which is so common all over Africa.
Growing up in this kind of environment I remember being told by my parents how I could not have close friends with people from certain tribes. As a teenager we witnessed the ugly regime of Iddi Amin and how in a period just 8 years he killed over a 500,000 people mainly from select tribes.
In one of our trips to train leaders in Uganda, we drove past an area outside Kampala where Amin’s forces took people to be executed. Imagine how many family members hearts were pierced when their loved ones were killed. Imagine how many hearts were pierced due to the holocaust in Europe, the killing fields in Cambodia, the genocide in Rwanda, and on and on and on in so many other places and times in history. Some day all the injustices of our broken world will be exposed and judged.
HIS WORLD
But there was another piercing that affects each of us.
1,000 years before Jesus came into the world He created, Israel’s King David prophesied about His crucifixion:

“Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet” (Psa. 22:16).

700 years before Jesus came, the Prophet Isaiah told us why He would be pierced:

“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Is. 53:5).

500 years before the birth of Jesus,  Zechariah the Prophet (who himself was brutally killed) foresaw a day yet future when Jesus will return in glory:

“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son” (Zech. 12:10).

2,000 years ago, the first two of the three prophecies above were fulfilled, as Jesus took upon himself the sin and judgement due us:

“Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water'”(John 19:34 ).

The book of Revelation points to the fulfillment of the third Zechariah’s prophecy upon Jesus return:

“Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen” (Rev. 1:7).

May we look upon the one who was pierced for us now. Until He returns, let us proclaim…and demonstrate…the love of Christ, who died for all, and who will one day right all wrongs. When He comes, “He will wipe every tear from their (and our) eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Rev. 21:4).

With love, gratitude, and great hope,

Linus (and Sharon)


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