“The LORD said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.” Genesis 4:10 NIV
Abel’s innocent blood spilled by his brother Cain, so calls to God’s heart that it is as if it cries out to him from the ground. I believe this holy crying out happens every time an innocent life is taken, indeed every time any innocent is wronged. The wounds we suffer cry out to God, like echoes of sorrow, from small sighs on the wind from the tiniest hurts, to raging tornadoes from travesties of justice. The Lord hears them all, just as he hears our prayers. And despite what we may think at times, he also remembers them and acts upon them, and they have consequences for the perpetrator as well as for the victim; just as Cain has to suffer the curse of the ground, becoming a “restless wanderer.”
Guilt is also a restless wanderer, that follows us around for the rest of our lives, and there is only one cure, which is the blood price paid by Jesus on the cross. This truly sets us all free, for it redeems the sinner and heals the one sinned against, allowing them to forgive.
I find it interesting that the Lord says, “Listen!” and I think this tells us that we too ought to be able to hear those cries from the injustices done all around us, if we are willing to stop for a moment and be open to the sounds that rise from our lives, from the very earth on which we stand. This might be what we are doing when we ourselves come to the Lord in the prayer of examen or in confession, open to seeing and hearing our shadow selves, laying down our sin and hurt before him, both to forgive and be forgiven, via the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, love covering a multitude of sins.
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