I have been haunted, recently.
This haunting began when I said something to a friend. There was a group of us, mostly followers of Christ. This friend was expressing some pain, hurt, and sadness. I said something that was not unique or special, really. I asked, “How can we be God’s hands and feet and take care of you?”
And then it hit me, this haunting image: If we really want to be God’s hands and feet, our appendages? They will need to have holes in them.
It struck me like a brain freeze, like rock from a sling to my forehead. This unshakeable image of mangled, bloody hands and pierced feet. It struck me, I suppose, because we so easily talk about wanting to be God’s hands and feet. But we can live in denial of how very hard it is to be God’s hands and feet.
Don’t get me wrong. I believe strongly that the contemporary evangelical church is a morbid beast. I think that Passion movie was a glorified snuff film. In short, I think our conversations about the death of Jesus need to be kept in a context with his life and his rebirth.
However, it also won’t do to pretend that the bible doesn’t speak about Jesus blood: on the one hand, dying wasn’t the only thing that Jesus did. But on the other… it is something vitally important that he did do.
And so this image, of Jesus’ hands and feet, they serve as a brutal and terrible and awe-inspiring reminder of the cost of loving people, a reminder of the sorts of things we are called to do.
As for me? Well, I can’t say that I found a way to meaningfully and directly help this friend who was hurting. Clearly I need to work at hard at heeding that call myself.