MARRED BEYOND RECOGNITION
His face was marred beyond recognition. Was this the beautiful Carpenter Who grew in favour with God and man? Was this the same Man who healed the sick, raised the dead, opened blinded eyes, fed thousands miraculously and other countless miracles? Was this the same Man who said that if they tear down the temple, in three days and He will build it up again? Was this the same Man who confounded the priests in the synagogue with such wisdom like they had never heard before?
Thousands had gathered to listen to Him. Now look at Him! Seemingly helpless before His captors. Betrayal’s blade (CS) gutted Him to the very core and they all ran because if He could not save Himself from the enemy how can He save them!! These were those who walked with Him, slept with Him, ran with Him, ate with Him, shared His very heart yet at the time when He was weakest, they ran! Then the very one who received the revelation about who this simple Carpenter really was, denied Him thrice!
But there was one. The one who really knew His heart. The only one who could be trusted with the Carpenter’s mother. The one who laid his head upon His chest and heard the rhythms of His heartbeat. And there was another one—she sat at His feet gazing at His face, His eyes; His lips, as if never wanting to miss an emotion moving upon His face. Her heart sang "I don't want to miss a thing!"
He was marred beyond recognition; a shadow of whom He used to be—powerful, strong, wise, gentle, passionate, invincible! He has willingly chosen to make of Himself no reputation. The accusations flew left and right and He stood alone as those who loved Him stood in the distance watching - weeping and helpless. Questions ran to and fro in their hearts. Was this the end?
He was marred beyond recognition, dragged and pulled and pushed and shoved, tearing the very beard off of His face... “Where are your wise and lofty words now “o wise one! Really, You are the Door, You and the Father are one? Really, You are the bread of life? Really, we should drink Your blood and eat your body? How dare you try to change what we have known and what we have built our lives upon for generations! Our God Himself gave us the Holy Torah. Our God Himself instructed us in the Sabbath. You are Lord of the Sabbath?! Our God Himself gave us the laws and even designed our priestly garments! Look at you now! No one will even recognize you! Who did you say You were? If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father? You are the One who called us whitewashed tombs. Look at you now!”
He was marred recognition and had no beauty that we should desire Him. He was undesirable to behold. You had to know his heart. He submitted to the torture. He submitted to the brutality ... from the enemy it was almost, just almost bearable because it was outward but from the ones whom He loved and who walked closely with Him, it broke His heart. But that same broken heart would become the doorway into the secret chambers of His heart.
I kiss the marred face of my Beloved. My tears stung as it bathed the broken skin. I kiss His eyes, swollen shut and I caress the empty patches of skin where His beard once was.
He yielded as a Lamb led to the slaughter. It seemed never ending. The pain in His body and His heart vied for attention but the pain within His heart was blinding and unspeakable. He knew He could have called the Angels. He knew and remembered who He was. He remembered but He he willingly surrendered to the will of His Father. He did not fight it. He surrendered. He watched as among those whom He had taught and fed shouted, “crucify Him!” “Was that Will, whom I can see standing there? He is among the crowd? Ahhh I remember...he wanted that place at the table, and he was quite irate at not being given that place.”
He came to His own and His own received Him not. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me!” Matthew 23:37
“Are you willing for your face to be marred beyond recognition?”*
His face was marred beyond recognition ...my Father my Father, where are You!!”
Finally, it is the dawn of a new day.
~S. Elizabeth Gomes 2017
*Being marred is being drawn into the dark places. It is being buried beneath the surface. It is being hidden. It is entering into the understanding of “he was touched with the very feelings of their infirmities;” experiencing humanity yet deeply anchored in the hidden places in the heart of the Father.
It is not possible to descend to these depths of the dark places of treasures unless deeply rooted and grounded in the love of the Father. One may emerge from this place broken and broken instead of broken and whole. It is in the marring that you descend deeper and deeper into silence.
In this place, others see the marring, yet they cannot recognize it for what it is. It is where everything that has ever held or tether us is cut loose, until you are only held within His arms. It is where every space, every place of your entire being is yoked, married to your Beloved. Union. It is where you jump, trusting that He will catch you but if He does not, you still choose not to bow to the idol of self-preservation. It is the story of the 3 Hebrew boys.
Yes, be it unto me according to your will. Eternally surrendered to love
~ S. Elizabeth Gomes