I imagine that one day the whole pressing cluster of lovers and haters will round the body of Christ and take turns kissing his scars, finding finally (and this is hard, indeed) that their many wounds this side of death bore the lip marks of God.
The gospel can be hard as diamond, painful as fire.
God comes, God does the best he can, God gets himself killed.
Of course, we all know he came back, but only to a few people and then he flew away. Some comeback. What's that they say about comedy and tragedy tangled in the same tree?
I labored a long time under the illusion that a faithful life would eventually be rewarded. Disciplines properly followed would yield abundant earthly rewards. Jesus, a good investment.
This isn't true. This is harder than the truth. Cruel even. Because life doesn't bear it out.
I haven't had many prayers answered. I have been hit. Left. Choked. Tricked.
I have lost gifts, humor, money, mind, friends.
I have cheated, stolen, lied, passed out, woken up to pass out again. Misspelled my lover's name.
The truth is this, some things will never come back.
Discipleship may go from dark to dark to death.
We will experience permanent loss in this life, not eventual gain. This is the gospel we have to tell.
Even God still has his scars. The bloody lamb opens the book.
Grieve. Remember. Tell stories. You can never go back to it. Whatever it was. A tea cup.
Life can be very long. Let yourself be kissed, one night at a time.