Thursday, November 1, 2007

"You have to have been in prison to know what being a free man means."

While I was in London, I read a 1989 Reader's Digest interview of a man who was kept captive in Beirut for 3 years (Jean Paul Kaufmann). The interviewer asked, "Do you still think about the foreign hostages still in Beirut?" He answered, "I am obsessed by them. Knowing that at this very moment they are suffering is intolerable to me...Until they are rescued, I won't feel entirely free." These words caught my ear. Christ came and suffered, lived as a "captive" in humanity. He was tempted even as we are tempted. He was limited to human weakness to personally endure pain, rejection and suffering. Now that part of the Trinity no longer lives in this world as the individual "Jesus Christ". He is seated at the right hand of the Father - constantly interceding for us. What this former hostage said rang near what Christ could say from having "lived in our shoes" as hostages within humanity - to live in and bear what occurs on this earth. He also somehow experienced separation or a feeling of disconnection with God (somehow) - "My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?" He experienced life and suffering - among us - as one of us. Consider what does God think of His brethren still here - those suffering in this world? "I am obsessed by them. Knowing that at this very moment they are suffering is intolerable to me...Until they are rescued, I won't feel entirely free." The interviewer went on to ask, "Do you feel..guilty...leaving comrades behind?" The redeemed captive asnwered, " I think we need to talk more simply of a brotherhood of sorrow...(We) faced suffering everyday. Together, we felt hunger, cold, fear...This brotherhood will bind us forever and attaches us firmly to those who remain... I have often thought of those years as an initiation." Initiation into a brotherhood. Do you see it? Do you see Christ? The High Priest in Hebrews who suffers Himself to become the perfect Intercessor. He made us His brethren. This man was taken captive along with others, held for 3 years in a windowless room without light and air. His name was changed. He had no possession of his own. Everything was taken or lost. Afterwards, he was released while others were not. He said that he believes in the redemptive aspect of suffering and insists on forgiveness. He said, "I knew my suffering was going to open hidden and difficult things to me...suffering reveals a great deal...(before) I lived a charmed life. I went out on stories as a reporter to verify what I had read in books. I'm not renouncing the past, but it is no longer enough." Do we live like that? Suffering has a way of decimating idealism with brutal reality. Ideals alone may not survive the pain. It is not enough. In class today, they asked, "Is there a difference between a Christian that has suffered and one who hasn't?" Fellowship with Jesus in suffering can strangely alter a person. But where else is there a God who can enter into suffering with you? By being both the Son of God and the Son of Man, He willfully chose to be linked with us in such a way that we can know that He knows. "I am obsessed by them...Until they are rescued, I will not be entirely free." As Christ loves the Church...We are His Body...if one part of the body suffers, the whole body suffers...remember those in bonds...so we must love one another even as He has loved us. Until they are rescued, I will not be entirely free.

3 comments:

Lauren said...

Deanna, this is really good. Me and AMber were talking about some of this last night. Freedom and things like that. I have to do this paper about the walls that "imprison" meand what constitutes me "house of morals". What is my box, my ethics. Lets just say it's going to be a paper like my english teacher has never seen before!
My box...lol, Jesus Christ and his body. My "box" is the only thing that sets me free. I know this isn't exactly what your talking about but it's kinda hard for me to explain right now considering I haven't started my paper. I'll send you a copy of it when I finish....I love you!!!

John & Jolly & Matthew Barber said...

It was nice to meet you Sunday Deanna. Hope you enjoyed your end of pier experience. Well done btw with your blog. And God bless with your multi-cultural experience here in England! Hope we helped even if John prefers Simpsons over Shrek becoz it is less pretentious!

Anonymous said...

It was good to meet you Sunday Deanna. Hope you enjoyed the end of pier experience and extended your multi-cultural UK experience. Hope we don't confuse when we say Simpsons is better than Shrek becoz it is less pretentious. God bless in your studies - keep hanging in there - and in your future plans.