“He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
I wrote “Man of Sorrows” with my husband Drew when we were walking with some of our dear friends through the loss of their child. I don’t know if you’ve ever walked through pain like this, but if you have, I’m so deeply sorry. It isn’t the way things are supposed to go. It feels gut wrenching on every level. This song was the prayer that came out of us as we walked through this season of loss. We wanted to remind ourselves that even in our most broken places, we will encounter a God who was broken for us, so that we would know we’re never alone in the breaking.
In our deepest places of sorrow and ache it was the Man of Sorrows Himself, who met us. There was such comfort to know that there is no grief or loss or ache that God hasn’t experienced. We began to see that perhaps God’s answer to the suffering in this world is, “Me too.” God doesn’t look down on our brokenness or our ache or our pain with a smug look on His face, lecturing us on how we need to do better or believe more. He takes the pain upon Himself so we can know that we are not alone. He takes the pain upon Himself so we can know that there is good reason to hope. We have hope because of who Jesus is and how He was broken for us. We have hope because Jesus entered into every painful and dark place we’d ever experience, and overcame the darkness and pain by walking out of the grave! Death and suffering don’t have the final word.
This doesn’t mean we don’t have questions, but this song was our attempt to remind our weary and grieving souls of the truth that by His wounds, we can be healed. We have known healing as we’ve walked with these sweet friends of ours. We still have scars, but what a comfort to know that there is a scarred God who will come to meet us in every wounded place. Whatever darkness or loss or pain that you are in the middle of today, my prayer is that this song will remind you there is a Man of Sorrows, well acquainted with grief, who will hold us and whisper that our wounds are never the end of the story.