Earlier this week, I was wrongfully accused of something I didn’t do. Very hurtful things were said. And I, being the sort of person who takes great pride in being fair and honest, was deeply wounded.
I’m not interested in always being right. If I’ve done something wrong, I am more than happy to own up to it. Even when I have the benefit of proof on my side, I would give up my right to be right in the interest of reconciliation and peace. This time, however, my accuser was not interested in reconciliation. I was left to find peace on my own which, as anyone who has survived an interpersonal conflict would know, is difficult at best.
I cried to a good friend, who supported me and encouraged me to give the benefit of the doubt. I cried to my husband, who encouraged me to let it go and let people be people. I cried to myself while watching the Seattle Mariners struggle against the Yankees in the 4th game of what has been a horrible losing streak, at which point I started crying for more reasons than one (just kidding – I reserve those tears for football season). When I felt like I had cried enough, I got up to wash my face, get into my pj’s and grab a scoop of ice cream. I saw my puffy face in the mirror and thought wryly, So this is what it looks like, what it feels like, to be wrongfully accused.
Then it suddenly occurred to me that Jesus was also wrongfully accused. My puffy face and bruised heart was just a small glimpse into His sacrifice.
So I got into my pj’s, grabbed my ice cream (and waffle bowl, and vanilla cookies), snuggled up to my husband and suffered through the rest of the Mariners game. I allowed myself to feel the stinging trail of tears that still lingered on my face, the cuts and scrapes that still ached from within, and remembered that Someone two thousand years ago has already walked this road. He was walking this road still, with me. He was sharing my pain, and in that moment, I was sharing in His. Mine was a much smaller share, mercifully proportionate to what I am capable to bear, but we shared it nonetheless. And in that moment, I stood wrongfully – and painfully – accused, but walking in the shadow of One who died and rose again.
And there, in that shadow, I found peace.