Indifference Betrays the Soul

Read: Mark 14:39-50

And they all left him and fled. (v. 50)

A box full of cards and letters said it all: “Welcome to the family, Ben! Love you already!” “I can’t wait to be your new Mom! I love you!” “New Grandparents here! Just wanted to say ‘hi.’” And on and on . . .

There was just one problem: the letters weren’t from us. Jailed parents and a broken home had already broken his heart, but now, the tear-stained evidence of not one, but two prior foster families who promised love, safety, and stability but couldn’t deliver it. How could we establish a trusting, parent-child relationship when his 10-year-old, street-smart heart wordlessly screamed, “never trust anyone again!” How could we demonstrate, in short, a different kind of love?

Jesus experienced betrayal. The most public and respected members of Judaic society set him up. Judas, of course, sold him for silver. Then, in the darkness and fear of night, everyone (friends and followers alike!) deserted him, leaving him dreadfully alone.

Disappointment in people had taught Ben to stay emotionally distant. But this kind of indifference is an insidious and different kind of betrayal. It betrays our very soul. To be human is to feel. To experience emotions—including all of them—is imperative to a fully human life! How could we teach Ben that it takes greater courage to acknowledge pain and disappointment than it does to feel nothing at all? We can’t, but Jesus can. —Tammy DeRuyter

As you pray, give your pain and disappointment in others to him.

About the Author

Tammy DeRuyter is a former stockbroker turned student of theology and history. She holds master’s degrees in both from Fuller Theological Seminary and Central Michigan University. Married for more than 25 years to Michael, an ordained RCA pastor, they have three emerging, young adult children ages 20, 21, and 22—the youngest of whom was adopted at 11.