Black marble composition notebooks.
They have been my prayer journal of choice for as long as I can remember. But it was many years before God showed me something hiding in plain sight, right there on the front cover.
I had come to Him with my journal in hand and a whole lot of hurt in my heart. Tears and angry words mingled on the lined paper as I poured out my pain. And instead of being met with a reprimand for the brutal honesty of my feelings, I sensed God’s “yes.”
“Yes, Kimberly. This is exactly what you need to do. Bring your hurt to Me first. Bring your pain and your questions to Me. When you do this, you’re doing what’s right there on the cover of your notebook.”
And that’s when I saw it. Plain as day. The two “i’s” in the word “composition” look like two little people, and between them is a “t”… a cross. And while I know it may sound a bit simplistic to some, it was exactly the encouragement I needed.
When I pray out my pain with God first, I’m positioning the cross between us. I’m putting Jesus between me and the person who has hurt me. I’m giving Him permission to remind me…
Of my own sin that placed Him there and my own need for grace.
Of the forgiveness I’ve freely received and must also freely give.
Of the truth that He loves us both and willingly died for each of us.
Of His ability and desire to do a deep work – not just in them, but in me.
And it’s what Jesus came to do. He came and positioned Himself between sinful me and a holy God, taking the wrath I deserved. Making a way for restored relationship. For restored hope and peace and joy.
And He’s Who we need to position between ourselves and the ones we want to pour out our wrath on. Letting Him do His healing and grace-filled work. Letting Him stand in with His love when we are struggling to drum up any of our own.
Because when we position Jesus between us, He changes the composition of our heart. Taking our bitterness and resentment. Healing us and making us whole.
I don’t know who has hurt you. I don’t know who has caused you searing pain. But I do know it’s hard to stay angry when we’re brought to our knees by the tremendous love and sacrifice of Jesus.
Put the cross between you, sweet friend. And let Jesus speak first. Speaking love and hope and truth into your hurt before you utter words that will only serve to make things worse.
Truth I’m continually having to live out myself.