I fell today. No, not that kind of a fall. I mean a literal, physical fall as in thwack! Face-first on the asphalt. Torn elbows, skinned hands. Shredded knees. Ouch!
Out for our morning walk, my yellow Lab and I got tangled up. Eve zigged. I zagged. The result: splat! I crawled off the pavement and cried. Even though it wasn’t her fault, my good dog was lavish in her canine apology, as dogs often are.
My first instinct in a situation like this is to call my husband. I would’ve too, except I left my cell phone at home. Blast! Except for Eve, I was suddenly, achingly alone. Bleeding. Embarrassed. A little scared. Can I walk? Will my knees give out? If they do, how will I get home?
Is there anything like a jolt of pain to rouse us into instant alertness? As Eve licked my tears I had the oddest sensation of everything snailing into super slow-mo. The sky became blazingly blue. An overhead barn swallow sang tenor like Pavarotti. Wet grass pierced like an ice pick. The gravelly, uneven pavement bit into both legs. Maybe it was the molasses-like moment that got me thinking.
Can you imagine God with skinned knees? The sovereign of the universe with scraped elbows, bloody hands? I think it was author and Bible teacher Chuck Swindoll who opined, “Aren’t you glad He isn’t called Man of Knowledge? Man of Intellect? Man of the academic ivory tower?”
Sitting there clutching my bloody knees and elbows, I sure was – and am. Jesus. “Despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering” (Isaiah 53;3a). He chose to enter humanity, skinned knees and all, to save you and me from an Ancient Fall. He understands scrapes and bruises of every kind. (Hebrews 4:15, 16.)
Eve and I made it back okay. I’ll make it Home alright, too. The way has already been paved by the Man of Sorrows. God with skinned knees. Perhaps Paul Baloche’s fine lyrics say it best:
Crucified laid behind the stone
You lived to die rejected and alone
Like a Rose trampled on the ground
You took the fall and thought of me