Daily Word of Grace # 97 (July 29, 2020)
One of the best known poems of the nineteenth century American poet Walt Whitman (1819-1892) is entitled “Song of Myself.” It is divided into fifty-two sections (perhaps to match the fifty-two weeks of a year) and throughout the poem Whitman identifies himself with the various aspects of the highs and lows of the human condition. In the thirty-third section he identifies with human suffering: “Agonies are one of my changes of garments, I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person, my hurts turn livid upon me as I lean on a cane and observe” (Leaves of Grass, Modern Library edition, 85). In his incarnation, passion, and death Jesus did not ask us how we feel, Jesus became “the wounded person” for all of us, including you. The Old Testament prophet Isaiah prophesied about this seven centuries earlier: “Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4-5). On the cross Jesus’ hurts turned livid as he hung on the cross, but he endured all that anyway because he loved us that much…and still does.
Love and Prayers,