They All Left Him: A Holy Week Reflection

Last week, I got a glimpse into the medical miracle that is the human body…

It all started when I thought Indiana was going to bless me with a warm, spring day. Under that assumption, I brought thin running gloves to the track meet I volunteered at. That was my first mistake- especially given the fact that I have Reynaud’s and do NOT take well to cold. My second mistake was when I took my completely numb, white hands and put them under hot water.

Do not, I repeat DO NOT, run hot water over cold hands. Apparently, it is a very bad idea. My nerves spazzed out, my body went into shock, and I was temporarily (but incredibly) ill. I also started bawling because the water hurt my hands so badly.

My friend graciously kept an eye on me (You rock Alli!) as I laid down and tried not to pass out. Fifteen minutes later, I was feeling well enough to get some water, layer up on gloves, and go back out to volunteer.

That situation was a complete shock to me, and my body. I had no idea what was going on, and if it weren’t for Alli, I probably would’ve thrown up and/or fainted. That’s a scary thought, and a very uncomfortable one for me.

I. Need. People.

I need family and I need friends; I need people to joke around with and people who will call me out when I’m straying from the path. I need adventure buddies and movie pals. I crave them and I was created to be in relationship with them.

I’m in this weird phase of life–  let’s call it “adulthood” — where I’m living my days as a single, working woman, with a slew of responsibilities. When I was in college, I was mingling with people all the time– classmates, teammates, coaches, friends, random people in the hallway who heard me singing to myself. Now, life looks very different. I still indulge my introverted tendencies, without realizing that the interaction I took for granted before, is actually really important.

So there’s me, lying on the ground, cradling my limp hands, trying not to cry. Yeah, not one of my better moments. But it was an important one, because in that desperate circumstance, I heard God very clearly say: “Hannah, you need people. You aren’t meant to do this alone.”

People? I love people, but do I really need their community? That idea makes me feel dependent; It makes me feel weak. But the message kept popping up throughout the weekend– when I needed help at the grocery, when I walked into church without my usual friends to sit with. We aren’t meant to do this alone.

But… are you even allowed to be lonely when you have Jesus? I’ll defer to a theologian on that, but I would say: “Yes!” Lately, I’ve been studying the life of Jesus in the book of Matthew, and the loneliness of our Savior has never been so apparent.

Think about it: Jesus had a group of best friends, they did everything together. But He knew one would betray Him. He knew it even as Judas dipped the bread, sitting right at His side. After sharing a meal with His betrayer, Jesus took His closest friends- the ones He had invested years of His life in. The ones who had traveled with Him, laughed with Him, and learned from Him. He took His best friends and He asked them to pray in the garden. Jesus went on ahead to pray alone, reaching such deep despair that his skin dripped blood. When He rose to His feet and returned to His best friends, He found them sleeping. Sleeping! While He, their Savior, prayed tears of blood.

Mere hours later, Jesus was confronted by His accusers and led away. And where were His friends then? In one of the most gut wrenching verses of the Bible, Matthew says: “Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.”

They all fled. They all left Him.

Jesus watched as His best friends in the world ran away from Him, as He was ridiculed and shackled in chains. They all left Him.

Can you even begin to imagine the pain that caused Jesus? The loneliness? Yet He endured it for you and for me. Jesus knows how loneliness feels! And what’s more: His life exhibits the importance of having a community. He didn’t need the disciples, but He chose them. He willingly entered relationships that would hurt Him, in order to show us the importance of connection and the outpouring of love. 

We weren’t created to do this alone. Single, married, young, or old: You don’t need to walk through life alone. The good news is: There are plenty of friends out there who would love to meet you. The even better news is: Jesus is always there to fully satisfy you and to bring people into your life to help you grow.

If you need a friend, you’re normal. We all need them. First, go to Jesus. Then, send me a text. I’d love another friend too 🙂

Love,

Hannah

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