The lines of that song came flooding into my head this morning, resurrected–I think–from a gray matter vault listed MEMORIES OF YOUTH GROUP circa 1974. I don’t think I’ve heard the song again since I sat in the Armory in Medford, Oregon with my gawky peers listening to Andre Crouch and the Disciples.
Last week I sat with puffy eyes and a pulverized heart, surrounded by a pile of wadded tissues in the corner of my bedroom. I repeated one prayer: “I can’t do this again, Lord!”
Let me lay down just enough background so that when I tell you what God did you will be encouraged in your heartache too. You will glimpse the nurturing heart of Father God like I did, and you will understand why my spirit regurgitated these lyrics:
do me like Jesus
do me like the Lord
do me like Jesus
(Refrain) He’s my friend.
Six years ago I was dealt a heavy, life-altering blow by a loved one. I worked through it and worked hard to forgive and move on. Then last week I was blindsided with its sequel; the same gut-wrenching rejection and betrayal, the same heart-pulverizing crush that took over my thoughts and excavated the landfill of my life’s wounds. It triggered an avalanche of self-loathing and a running dialogue to run away–for good!
Perhaps you can understand that kind of hardwired pain with its large taproots that you’ve spent a lifetime hacking at. Sometimes current hurts can act like a key that opens the vault on terrible wounds. The pain of it can suck the breath–and rational thinking–right out of you.
I was pacing and praying and crying out in anguish and fear and confusion–cleaning and dusting when I stumbled upon a little piece of paper with a scripture reference I’d written. As I prepared to toss it, the Still Small Voice said, “Look it up.” I reached for my phone and looked up Psalm 46:10-11:
I read it a couple times and let God’s voice settle into my thoughts and redirect my focus. As I was closing my Bible App, I received a Facebook notification. I clicked on the video link.
A newborn baby was crying and distressed, but when her daddy speaks her name and says, “I am here, it’s okay.” The baby immediately calms. A second time the baby is upset and crying her lungs out, once again she is soothed by her daddy’s voice. He repeats, “I am here…it’s okay, Daddy’s here…”—but this time the daddy adds, “…I love you.” The infant cranes her head in the direction of her daddy’s voice and then…
Comedian Michael Jr. uses the video to illustrate an encouragement to those who are hurting:
I became wrapped in the love and comfort of my Father. My prayer turned from “I can’t do this again, Lord! to “O Father….thank you for seeing me, for loving me.” I was so grateful that my Daddy heard my tears of pain and fear; that He stepped into the middle of it and spoke my name. I was calmed, ready to trust that same Love to lead me through wherever this will lead.
And then, as if on cue, the Andre Crouch throwback hymn played in my head. It was as if the Lord was saying, “Sherrie, I am the only one who understands your pain. I am the only one who sees you, truly sees you.
Jesus knows the fiery burn of rejection. He knows what it feels like when your blessing is trampled underfoot. He sees the vulnerable efforts we make to love when our hearts want to run lockdown. And he also sees how the enemy scoops up our pain and inflates it with lies and distortions and vivid remembrances of past hurts.
All of that, Jesus knows! He knows people will hurt us deeply…that we will hurt others.
But as He reached into my wailing room and spoke my name, calmed my fears and reminded me that He loves me, O, my friends He speaks your name as well.