The human spirit can endure in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear? (Prov. 18:14 NIV)
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. (Ps. 34:18)
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. (Isa. 53:5 NIV)
Lord Jesus, I begin this Wednesday with an image that’s hard to shake. In the parking lot of a Target, an exasperated mom targeted her young son for a vile spirit-crushing. In all fairness, I have no clue what was going on in that mom’s heart. I have no idea what preceded her cruel eruption.
But nothing could justify or excuse her shaming behavior—nothing. And in all honesty, I wanted to treat her just as harshly as she was treating her son. Initially, my anger at her was greater than my concern for her son. Lord, I need your mercy as much as she does.
That’s precisely where you come in, Jesus—quite literally where you come in, for you are near the brokenhearted and you save those who are crushed in spirit. You took the ultimate crushing of the cross that we might know your tear-wiping hand, the breaking of our shame, and the recovery of our dignity—and a lot more.
Jesus, continue to heal those stories and wounds in our hearts where we lost face and heart—where we simply went limp with shame. Unfortunately, ours is a culture that has made contempt, verbal-bile, and graceless-spite the new norm. Surely, there’s a better way to steward our exasperation—a more redemptive way to confront things that need to be confronted.
Again, Jesus, I don’t tower in judgment over this mom, but I stand convicted by her actions. All of us are just as capable and culpable of crushing the spirits of others—children, spouses, friends. Melt the madness of meanness with the grandeur of your grace. Humble and gentle us Jesus. So very Amen we pray, in your near and healing name.