“He would have, you know.”
It was a soft comment, but I felt its weight. As usual, Jesus’ voice surprised me.
I was trying, hard, to burrow into the root of an issue. Once again life’s daily tumbles had triggered me into shame, anger, worthlessness and ultimately, despair. For weeks I’d skirted the problem but couldn’t make progress. Now, finally, curled up on my bed, I found my voice – and His – and watched Him point the way.
As usual, the problem originated long ago in childhood. “There was no one to protect me, no one to stand up for me or advocate FOR me,” I whispered to Jesus. I could “see” His eyes; in my imagination they were warm and kind, encouraging me to continue.
I looked far back and found a few places of victory – times when my kind father saved me from fears or taunts. He was so dear and I cherished those few memories. My mind ran over those crystal-smooth surfaces again and again, but I knew those times were rare. My feelings ran deep, but they stayed inside and he did not know them.
Warfare he understood, but emotions, not so much. I was a tender little girl, a being totally unfamiliar to him,
and with very strange needs. Most times he backed away to let my mother and grandmother fight my battles.
Unfortunately, like so many other strong mothers of their generation, they fought me instead of my battles. Intimidated, I gave up and became the victim of my peers. Not once did I learn how to handle a bully, and there were many.
“I wanted him to protect me,” I admitted to Jesus and that’s when I heard His quiet response.
“He would have?” My eyebrows pulled together as I tried to understand Jesus’ words.
“He would – he wanted to – but he didn’t know how,” Jesus replied. Oh! My father would have protected me if he had the right tools and answers. I imagined how he might look in heaven – strong, confident, able to teach me to stand even amid hurled threats and shoves that left my heart cringing and trembling in the corner.
“He WOULD have!” I thought with relief, and suddenly Jesus’ three words filled in holes I didn’t know were there. The “he didn’t” pain was replaced with Jesus’ strong arms and impenetrable back, showing me what my father would have done.
if he could have.
Three words and a lifetime of healing in three seconds.
He does that, you know, with just a few words. He undoes time and pain and winds them backward, resetting who we are in the process and transforming us more and more into who He created us to be. Prison doors drop open and we walk away, released.
What words do we need today from the One who would set us free?