From all my reading before this, I had only puzzled awe for saints of old who wore iron chains and clothes of the roughest of material, and who whipped themselves, to suffer for love, as He did.
Always a shameless seeker of comfort, this type of suffering never appealed to me, though.
But as days and days ribboned out from the sunjoy of Easter, I began to sense a quiet budding of a grace new to me ~ the grace of spiritual scourging.
When little humiliations came to me in the course of the day, – oh, those sharp pull-downs to stop me from ascending further the ladder of pride – and my bruised ego strained to retaliate and reclaim my lofty perch, I found a curious prayer blossom in the quiet within me: Lash me with the whip of pride. Let me feel its bite of pain.
When others wrestled away the reins of the day from me, and withered hope before its time, I fell into the prayer that whispered, Lash me with the whip of sadness. Let me feel its bite of pain.
It is not my prayer, oh, never in a million years, for it is my unfortunate penchant to give pain as wide a berth as possible. And yet, it is the prayer for me, for it denies me my usual recourse to the sin of anger and vengeance. This I know is my Saviour’s gift of Mercy to me for He alone knows my struggles against the quicksand of anger, and the peace it robs me of. Each time hurt comes and I fall into the prayer of the lash, I sense a powerful quietening inside. The fire winds are stilled and I collapse into a meekness, foreign and hitherto, unattainable to me.
This prayer of the lash brings a gentling to my spirit, bequeathed through the grace of scourging ~ not sought, but gifted.