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For many people on this earth, the God whom they worship is far out in space somewhere, on the other side of the cosmos. He is distant, aloof. He is some kind of cosmic force which creates and sustains the universe, but has no empathy, has no feeling, has no humanity.

The Biblical record is very, very different, and what we learn about God through Christ's Passion is something truly astounding. God comes to the Earth in the form of Jesus. Through pain and sin, God is crucified. He takes upon Himself our sin. The human race, in rejecting Him, causes great pain to God. The image we have then of God upon the Cross is a God who feels your pain. The pain which we have through sin, through disease, God intimately feels. He is connected to us.

He knows our comings and our goings. He knows our hopes. He knows our fears. He knows what we want and what we need. He also knows our pain. He feels it. Jesus was able to weep at the sorrow in Jerusalem. God was able to so unite with the human race that He would come down to the point to experience and feel and unite with our pain. When you hurt, God hurts. I think this is somewhat comprehensible.

When a child gets seriously hurt, a parent feels that pain, almost as though he was the one who was physically hurt. Very often the parent will have the feeling that he/she would gladly voluntarily take that pain upon himself, if only he could remove it from his child. And so often, when there's a serious disease in the family, the greatest suffering comes not so much from the sickness itself, but from the feeling of helplessness. The parent fells that there's nothing he can do to intervene or make things better. He just has to wait.

I think it is clear that God is showing us through the Cross that He, too, feels that. He feels the pain. The suffering and the hatred and the ugliness of this earth causes Him to bleed, causes Him to have nails poked through His hands, causes Him to hang in agony. God is not in the outer stratosphere unknowing, uncaring. God is right here, right now united with you, united with all that you think, and all that you feel. But unlike that human parent, who so often is unfortunately helpless to intervene or help, the infinite power of God is available.

So often we refuse to tap into that power, but that is our problem, not God's. There have been many reports of people who have actually been miraculously healed of strange diseases, of tumors, and of all sorts of things. But, above and beyond this bodily healing, as important as it is, the healing balm of God is available to touch our souls, so that in the midst of pain, we can nevertheless have peace of mind.

I think this is one of the greatest lessons that we can learn and one of the greatest gifts we could have. It is wonderful to lead a life without any pain, without any sorrow, without any suffering. That is truly a blessing. But, there is a greater gift that we can be given. That gift is the ability to have peace of mind and joy in our hearts, throughout any difficulty or pain whatsoever. This is precisely what Jesus means when He says my peace, I give to you--the peace which passes understanding, not like the world gives, but My peace. The peace that the world seeks to give is an external comfort. If we have no problems, if we have no anxieties, then everything is fine and we call that peace.

The peace, which God seeks to give us, is one that allows us to rise above the unpleasantness of our turmoil and trouble. That is the gift that God wants to give us, as He feels our pain. He wants to be able to touch us, to say I know, I understand. This too, is a great pain experienced by many people when they feel that they are the only ones on the Earth. They feel they are alone. No one else understands.

One of the things that victims of child molestation have to go through is the feeling that they are dirty, that they have done something horrible, and that no one will ever be able to forgive them. They feel they are the only ones who have ever gone through this, and that no one could ever understand. Just knowing that there is someone else on the Earth who cares about them, who has gone through the same thing, in and of itself, helps.

So too, with alcoholism, so too, with many things. As soon as we find that we are not alone, that we're not the only person to have done this stupid thing, that we're not the only person to have been victimized in this unspeakable manner, we can be healed, just by the presence of another person.

This is part of the power of the death and resurrection of Jesus. God, hanging upon the Cross, is telling us, you are not alone. I understand. I ,too, have been rejected. I ,too, feel pain. I, too, bleed. I, too, must die. I understand.

But at the same time, my peace, I will give to you--that peace which passes all understanding--because I am no longer dead. I am alive. I am resurrected, and I am strong. I am perfected. My strength and perfection is available to you, right here, right now. Yes, you must suffer, but that is only for a little while, and it amounts to nothing. I feel your pain, and I can and will help you. Reach out to me. And, in love I will transform your life.

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