Inspired by what she witnessed on a mission trip to Rwanda, Sara Groves wrote the following song:

I saw what I saw, and I can’t forget it
I heard what I heard, and I can’t go back
I know what I know, and I can’t deny it
Something on the road cut me to the soul

Something happened to Sara in Rwanda that “cut her to the soul.”

Your pain has changed me, your dreams inspire
Your face a memory, your hope a fire
Your courage asks me what I’m afraid of (what I am made of)
and what I know of love

Sara witnessed the pain and suffering in Rwanda, but she was also moved by the hopes and dreams of the people she met. Their courage inspired her to look beyond her fear toward something better.

After Jesus death, the disciples were consumed with questions: Why did Jesus have to die? What will happen to them now? Would they too be arrested, tried and executed? Somehow, the disciples needed reassurance and the only one who could successfully do that was Jesus. Two of the disciples had an encounter with Christ that “cut them to the soul”:

“Two followers were walking to the village of Emmaus. They were talking about everything that happened. As they talked, Jesus began walking with them. But God kept them from recognizing him.” (Luke 24:13-16)

The disciples expressed their fears and confusion over what happened to Jesus, starting with the arrest followed by the crucifixion and then the rumors of an empty tomb.

Jesus answered: “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?” Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. (24:25-27)

Jesus pointedly reminded the disciples that pain and suffering would be a part of their lives but only for a while before they entered into glory. Later that day, “As they sat down to eat, Jesus took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them. Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared!” (24:30-31)

The Disciples saw Jesus as they broke bread together. Sara Groves saw Jesus in the lives of the people she met in Rwanda.

We’ve done what we’ve done, and we can’t erase it
We are what we are and it’s more than enough
We have what we have but it’s no substitution
Something on the road, touched my very soul

“Something on the road touched my very soul.” The disciples responded by rushing back to Jerusalem to tell the others. They were forever changed by the experience of seeing Jesus. Sara was forever changed by what she saw in Rwanda. The last verse of the song describes her response:

I say what I say with no hesitation
I have what I have and I’m giving it up
I do what I do with deep conviction
Something on the road changed my world

Walk the road with Jesus and you too will be “cut to the soul.” So, how do you respond? Do you “file it away” and forget? Do you quit? Give up? Or do you allow the experience to become a catalyst toward needed change?

After the Disciples encountered Jesus on the road to Emmaus, they rushed back to tell the others. Jesus then appeared to all of the disciples and said: “this message will be proclaimed in the authority of My name to all the nations: ‘There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.’ You are witnesses of all these things and now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised.” Parts of Luke 24:47-49

The disciples were “cut to the soul” by the appearance of Jesus. Their experience combined with the promised Holy Spirit became the catalyst for change. With renewed courage: They spoke with conviction; made sacrifices when necessary and acted with deep conviction.

The Disciples would never be the same. Sara Groves was “cut to the soul.” How will you respond to the risen Christ?

I say what I say with no hesitation
I have what I have and I’m giving it up
I do what I do with deep conviction
Something on the road changed my world.