Sunday, March 24, 2013

Better me than you

Because I am barefoot 99% of the time, and because we aren't the neatest house on the block, the incident of stepping on sharp, pointy objects is an all too common occurrence.

I wish I could blame it on the kids, but I've never, ever had the neatest house on the block. My floor has always been a bit of a landmine. The soles of my feet are riddled with the scars of my domestic ineptitude.

Recently for some odd reason I was blessed to be wearing shoes when I stepped up the stairs and directly on top of a wayward nail which pierced straight through the sole of my shoe and into my poor foot. As I screamed dramatically, the thought ran through my mind which, for almost seven years, has been repeated every time I have been assaulted by my own home: Glad I got to that first. Better me than one of the kids.

That pretty much sums up the change in our hearts (and pain tolerance) caused by motherhood, doesn't it? A tack in the foot no longer yields screaming and curses, but gratitude. The same tack could have harmed the sweet soft skin of my precious child. It hurts, but it would have hurt my baby worse. Better me than him.

Soon after Shepherd's birth, I realized that not only would I take a bullet for him, but I'd take a bullet for him gladly. With zero hesitation. Now the chances of me being asked to take a bullet for one of my children are thankfully very small. But thumbtacks? Slivers of glass? Runaway carpet nails? A Lego with a vendetta? It's a repetitive - sometimes daily - sacrifice.

Today I was cleaning the girls' room. As I slid my hand under Maggie's bed, my right thumb made direct contact with the pointy end a piece of glass. A rather large piece of glass, which could have done substantial damage to a small foot. My blood oozed from my body, while, as usual, I expressed gratitude for the opportunity to get to it first. Better me than her.

I stared at the blood stained glass when suddenly, I stifled a sob, and doubled over.
For the image of my bloody Savior hanging on a cross had appeared in my mind, saying, Better me than you.

The Lord, in his wondrous mercy, beat me to the piercing, and the pain, and the blood. It was a sacrifice. Because he loves me even more than I love my own children.

When they tied his arms to a post with his back exposed, and he braced himself for what was to come, he said, Better me than you.
When they raised the whip, it's tendrils tied with pointy pieces of glass and metal and bone, he said, Better me than you.

When they brought the whip down on his back, with full force, over and over and over and over and over, he said, Better me than you.

When the skin had been shredded and the arteries and veins in the muscles in his back began to hemorrhage, he said, Better me than you.

When they dug the crown of thorns into his head, he said, Better me than you.

When they grabbed his beard in their hands and pulled as hard as they could to rip the hair from his face, he said, Better me than you.

When they mocked his agony and called him the foulest names they could think of, he said, Better me than you.

When they slapped and punched his bleeding cheeks, and spit on him, and beat him with a staff until his bloody tortured body was unrecognizable as human, he said, Better me than you.

When they forced him to lift the seventy five pound crossbeam, lay it across his scourged and lacerated shoulders, and ordered his failing body to walk, he said, Better me than you.

When the loss of blood and the pain from his injuries caused him to stumble and drop the cross, he said, Better me than you.

When they stripped off all his clothes and threw his naked, mutilated body down on the cross, when they hammered thick, heavy, wrought-iron nails into his wrists, then lifted him into place, he said, Better me than you.

When they crossed his ankles and hammered similar nails into the arches of his feet, he said, Better me than you.

When he struggled to breathe, causing himself excruciating pain no matter how he moved, he said, Better me than you.

When he looked into the face of a mother, his mother, watching the murder of her precious firstborn, he said, Better me than you.

When  his Father turned his back on him, when he felt most forsaken, when he cried out in agony and heartache and despair, he said, Better me than you.

When his chest filled with fluid and he felt his own heart drown within him, he said, Better me than you.

When he cried out before he finally suffocated to death, he said, Better me than you.

When he took on the wrath of God and paid the penalty for your sins, and my sins, and our beloved children's sins, He said, Better me than you.

This is love:
not that we loved God, but that he loved us
and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
1 John 4:10

Originally published July 2010


  1. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!!

    Beautiful, Missy.

  2. Came back and read it again, today. Powerful words, Missy, and brought me to tears both times. Thank you!

  3. Powerful writer, you are!! Thanks for this perspective, and glad your Mojo is back :)

  4. "Amazing love! How can it be?"
    Thank you for these thoughts today!



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