Why do we reflect on Christ’s crucifixion? How can we relate to such torture? How can we understand such love?
God transformed a traumatic memory to give me insight. Read how:
The psychiatrist advised, “You have to get Chris into the hospital as soon as possible. He’s becoming very dangerous.”
How am I supposed to get him to the hospital without him first harming me? I hid all sharp objects, but Chris has his black belt in karate.
A few nights later, our family returned home from the movies. Robert and Howie went upstairs. Chris approached me in the kitchen with an audiocassette tape in his hand. Breaking it in front of me he said, “This is what I will do to you.”
Suddenly, he struck my jaw with a karate chop.
Chris turned and walked towards the steps, punching a hole in the wall. I followed him.
Chris walked into our bedroom and began to speak calmly to Howie, as if nothing happened. Unprovoked, he suddenly attacked Howie with a running side kick (a powerful karate foot kick). When he turned toward me, Howie grabbed him.
Quickly, I helped Howie hold Chris down on the floor. Chris’s nose started bleeding. Blood poured from his nose onto our carpet.
With Howie was on one side of Chris and me on the other, I couldn’t see what was happening to Howie. But, I could hear Howie making grunting sounds as if he was getting hurt. Chris thrashed his feet about in an attempt to break loose. kicking me over and over. He cursed at us and growled like a caged animal.
I screamed, “Robert, call 911! Tell them to send an ambulance.”
An army of police officers arrived at our house. I never thought I’d be relieved to have my son handcuffed. But, I was. I knew we would all be safe and Chris would have the best chance of getting better. The police took Chris away in an ambulance. Although Howie and I were exhausted, we jumped in the car and headed to the hospital.
We arrived at the hospital just as the police were escorting Chris into the emergency entrance. We caught up to him. The dark, empty look in his eyes was replaced by a pathetic look. I saw the helpless, pleading look of a son who needed his mother.
“I’m sorry, Mom.”
“It’s OK, Chris. We know you didn’t mean it. You’re just sick. That’s all.”
In the waiting room, Howie and I noticed our injuries. The inside of Howie’s lip was raw and bloody from being hit repeatedly by Chris’s head. There was a large cut on his face just under his eye. I had no cuts. Only bruises. All over my arms and legs.
During the six hours we waited, doctors and nurses tried to get Chris to admit himself. But he refused. He would have to be admitted against his will.
After a while, Chris fell asleep. He was taken to a room in the adolescent psychiatric ward of the hospital.
As we left the hospital, we were given a packet of information. It contained all the rules and regulations of the psychiatric ward. A lot to read after experiencing such an ordeal.
We returned home at 6:00 AM.
Later that day, Howie and I compared notes.
“What were you thinking when we held Chris down, Howie?”
“I felt tremendous sorrow for him. I didn’t want him to get hurt.”
“That’s exactly how I felt.”
Howie and I were careful not to hurt Chris as we held him down. Neither of us minded the blows we received. Even though Chris cursed us, we loved him unconditionally.
That’s how it was with Jesus. His accusers cursed, beat, and whipped Him. Yet, He took the pain upon Himself…For our transgressions. The Lord replaced that dreadful experience with a beautiful reminder of Christ’s love.
As a little girl, I wondered, “What’s so good about Good Friday?” Our experience with our son years ago gave me insight into Christ’s crucifixion. Jesus willingly died because of His unconditional love for us. He preferred to take our punishment so we could have eternal life in heaven.
Do you have a painful memory that haunts you? Christ, who overcame death, can surely transform those troubling thoughts.
Kristyn Getty’s “The Power of the Cross” reminds us of His unconditional love.