When Pilate ordered your unjust scourging he was the authority figure who had no answers; to him you seemed like the minor, bothersome character in a larger drama of governance, bureaucracy and political expediency. From his perspective, your fate was tied to the zeitgeist. I, too, am perceived to be the minor cog in someone else’s great wheel; my humanity goes unconsidered as I endure a very public humiliation. Each day brings another reminder that I am not able to meet expenses, or to answer the needs of those around me. I fall into doubt and despair, and these tear into my spirit as the Romans’ terrible instruments tore into your flesh. I feel shredded, anonymous. Those watching my ordeal are silent; they contemplate my circumstance, and imagine themselves in my place, as they simply watch.
The scourging of Christ was public knowledge; the crowd understood that Jesus was undergoing torture. The people who loved him were powerless to change anything for him; they could only be present. Informing others that you have lost your job and applying for assistance through various agencies are painful exposures. These can be moments of exquisite interior agony that feel like bleeding in public. Knowing your family is also watching, worried and helpless only adds to the sense of hopelessness. Mary had to watch and wait during Jesus’ ordeal, too, suffering for him. In a desperate moment, though neither of them could speak to the other of their grief and pain, each knew they were loved by the other. Though you feel unlovable right now, and there is tension and anxiety, trust that you are loved and being loved, even beyond all barriers.