Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of October 14, 2007
The 2008 Liturgical Calendar and Lectionary is
now available. Read about it and order it at
As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho
Press, here is a selection from our book of daily
devotions, "Living as the Beloved: One Day at a
Time," by the Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.
Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
meditation. We hope you will be blessed.
Thank you for forwarding this to your friends.
Honest to God
"From noon on, darkness came over the whole land until
three in the afternoon. And about three o'clock Jesus
cried with a loud voice, 'Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?'
that is, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'"
Hour after agonizing hour went by. A strange and
eerie darkness fell over the land. As Christ
experienced the full pain of the curse of sin,
darkness pervaded the earth. When the earth was
at its darkest hour, Jesus cried out in despair,
"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (quoting
Psalm 22:1 NIV).
Who among us has not experienced the darkness of
despair, loneliness, betrayal, torment, ridicule,
rejection, verbal and/or physical abuse, and
suffering? The darkest despair of all is feeling
forsaken and separated from God. Jesus, even Jesus,
cried out in despair.
I have listened to many suffering people cry out
similar heartfelt words. Sometimes people of faith
discourage this kind of spiritual honesty. "It's
not nice to question God," these well-meaning
comforters will say. "You need to have more faith,"
they remind us. Even Jesus felt forsaken in his
darkest moments before death. We too, can cry out
and feel safe with our questions and doubts.
My mother eventually lost her battle with cancer
after years of chemotherapy and radiation. When
she was on hourly morphine, she still struggled
to breathe without pain. I would often hold her
and rock her gently back and forth as she cried
in pain. "Why is God doing this to me?" she often
asked. I never knew what to say. I only know God
cried with us and provided strength for the moment,
sometimes one breath at a time. I had the privilege
of being with her when she died and will never forget
her last words. "God is calling my name," she
struggled to say, "and I'm not afraid." Throughout
her illness, she had been honest to God with her
diagnosis and prognosis. God honored her spiritual
honesty and provided her with the courage and faith
she needed at the hour of her death.
Jesus was honest to God on the cross. His words
give us courage to share our doubts, questions,
and fears with God. God can help us in our darkest
hours when we feel abandoned, forsaken, and forgotten.
Be honest to God. Your circumstances might not change,
but you will be spiritually empowered.
God, give us the spiritual honesty of Jesus as we
struggle with darkness in our lives. Give us
spiritual empowerment for one breath at a time.
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
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