On Sunday afternoon, Aidan and I broke away for a quick walk in the woods. He loved everything about it – being alone with Dad, getting to talk without his older brother dominating the conversation, and kicking at fallen logs with his little cowboy boots. I can promise you he wasn’t the only one who loved it; I couldn’t get enough either – watching him explore, hearing his little voice talk about making donkey ears at church, and recognizing that he’s way more little boy than he is baby. It’s moments like this when I can find myself overwhelmed with just how much I love my kids.
Which was why Saturday afternoon was so hard. Aidan and Jack were playing (fighting?!?) upstairs when Aidan’s chin collided with the hardwood floor with enough force to earn him the distinction of being the first in the family to get stitches. Even though Laura is the one with the medical background, I’m the one who takes the boys to Urgent Care for broken bones and stitches. I guess it’s a form of male bonding.
So, I got to be there while Aidan made his entrance at the Urgent Care and announced, “I have a horrible boo-boo.” Somehow the little charmer had scored several stickers before we even sat down in the waiting room. While we sat there, we kept rehearsing what would happen – a little numbing and then sewing his chin back together. He was intrigued with the sewing but not too happy with the numbing prospects. Pretty logical reaction.
We didn’t wait long before going back to get the whole thing started. Which meant it was time for me to do my part – keeping a fiercely strong little boy still, by whatever means necessary. Reassurance and comforting are preferred but a headlock isn’t out of the question! So, he sat in my lap for two numbing injections into his quivering little chin followed by two stitches. Without being too graphic, stitching someone up is the medical version of intentionally driving a fish hook through someone’s skin and repeating as often as necessary. He was a total champ. No headlock required. He just sat there, even when I could feel his little body go rigid during the shots.
All of which has made me think about our impending celebration of Good Friday and Easter. I’m reminded that Jesus went unflinchingly to the cross. He didn’t endure the pain of the cross so He could be healed. He endured the pain of the cross so He could be broken and we could be healed. We’re the mess and He’s the innocent Son of God. We’re the ones who needed healing but He’s the One who endured the pain. I was so proud of Aidan’s bravery on Saturday but I’m overwhelmed by Christ’s sacrifice on the wood of that cross two thousand years ago. “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
The worst part of Aidan sitting on my lap for all of this is that I had a perfect view of everything that was going on. I had to sit there and watch while my little guy suffered. It’s a reminder that Jesus wasn’t the only One who suffered that day. The Father turned His face from His Son and delivered Him over to death. I’m convinced that the only thing more horrific than dying on a cross would be watching your child do it. God could have called it off. He could have intervened. He could have saved His boy. Instead, He saved us. If I could have taken the stitches for Aidan on Saturday, I would have. My guess is that God the Father would have rather been on that cross than see His boy there.
So, let’s remember what this weekend is all about. Unthinkable love poured out for the world in the death of the Son of God. The Father didn’t take Jesus’ place on the cross but Jesus took ours. If you’ve ever wondered what the One who created the skies thinks of you, there’s your answer. He knows your sin, your brokenness and your failings. And He loves you enough to rescue you from it all. His love was displayed in all of its fierce glory on that cross – love for you, love for those who have the courage to admit they need a savior, love for the world He created.