The Cup of Sorrow

wine and fire

“If your cup is full of joy, drink it with thanks. If your cup is full of sorrow, drink it in communion with Him.” –Can You Drink the Cup by Henry Nouwen

My cup sat before me. Full. Full to the brim. Full of sorrow. I was being asked to drink it. Steadily down. In its entirety. Every last drop. My Lord was there. He held the cup in His outstretched hand. His gaze steady. Kind. Like a petulant child, I stood. Stubbornly. Frightened. My eyes questioning. My heart struggling to find the courage. My mind grappling with the knowledge of the inevitable pain that would ensue. Perhaps I could tip it out. Or maybe gulp it down speedily. Holding my nose. Or maybe I could hide. Under the table. Anything. Anything to get out of slowly and steadily drinking down the contents of it’s liquid. Dark and potent.

Trust Me. I hear Him say with His eyes.

My love for my Lord compels me. I love you my Lord, but must I? I implore.

And in His eyes I see His own memory. Of the cup which He wanted to pass over. He, like I, asked for another way. Any other way. Other than taking the cup. In obedience. And bearing the weight of its contents. And I saw that He understood me. He understood my hesitance. He understood my frailty. He understood my weakness. For He had felt it too.

Oh Lord, that I would be willing. To drink the cup of sorrow in communion with You. And so, inspired by His act of devotion and obedience. I took from Him the offered cup. And drank the sorrow down. Slowly. Aware of each mouthful. As it filled my mouth and senses. As the effect took hold. A steady tide of melancholy. Inundating my being. Entirely. I breathed it in. The aroma of suffering. Gliding down my throat. Filling my stomach. Every cell. Every limb. Permeated in agony. The beat of my heart. Swayed by its languor.

I trust You, Lord. That this pain is not in vain. That You have a plan. A plan for my good. That one day. This pain will be worth it. That you will sow for me, my cascading tears. And reap for me a harvest of joy. As you have promised.