For Jesus, The Medic
Strongholds are insidious things.
They must be exposed in order to be destroyed.
And right now, my heart feels laid bare from the recent raid
I did on the enemy’s stolen territory in my soul.
Bathed in hope is a heart that is
Oh, not the nakedness forced by assaulting aggression like the theft of my innocence,
the kind of violent stripping that sin-spewers commit with hands full of rage or lust…
This nakedness is more like the gentle uncovering of an old wound…
As if I am a young, maimed soldier shell-shocked and wandering on the smoldering battle field,
and the Medic sees my limping gait and rushes to my side.
He sees the laceration
And knows the infection that lies within.
(He was on the battlefield and saw the enemy’s attempt to gut me when the war was young)
He reaches for me
but I jerk away because I’m afraid His touch will hurt…
afraid to see the real damage.
My hand over the bloody hole is as good
as I can make it feel
and I’ve gotten used to
the gnawing pain in the background
used to covering it up…
absence of health.
I feel like I’ve walked a lifetime like this.
The pain has exhausted me
but I have
I can go on this way.
The Medic whispers, “Its okay, I’ve done this before. I want to help. Let me just take a look.”
I can feel the wound.
Hot and angry.
Infection writhing down to the bone.
And I shake my head no.
At least I know this pain.
Old pain is comforting for the simple fact it is familiar.
“Please. I promise to be gentle.” He says…
With an exhausted resignation
I slowly turn the injury to Him
because something inside me deeper than the wound wants to be free of this pain.
(And there is a feeble hope I can be made whole)
He gently, gingerly pulls away my hand…
And then He slowly pulls away
the layers of garments,
soaked with blood.
His touch is like that of a mother, fingers as gentle as mist.
in that moment,
with all the habits drawn back…
The wound is truly exposed.
Abnormal, infected and mangled.
The only thing covering it now is the earnest, assessing gaze of the Medic.
He says nothing.
But after a moment He looks at me with
kindness and compassion.
He knows I have waited too long. And He knows why.
My eyes, filling with the bubbling tears of terror and shame, meet His.
His eyes, too, are now wet with tears.
And I fear it is because there is
With a quivering voice I feebly beg one question,
“Can you heal me?”
His warm smile causes His own tears to change their trajectory as they roll down His face.
His voice is broken with concern
“The wound is deep.
The infection is severe,
I will do the work but you must lie still
and let the wound be exposed.
Exposure is part of how it will heal.
You will be tempted
to cover it back up
because My work will be painful at times
and your instinct will be
to hold fast to the wound
believing pressure will
Even then I will gently hold your hand back.
I’m at work.
You will be healed
but I won’t leave you even after
Strongholds are insidious things, laced in promise.
They must be exposed in order to uncover the hope of victory.
And right now, my heart feels strong as steel for
I have been brave enough to put these old wounds
in the hands of the Medic.
Vulnerable yet safe.
Exhausted but tested.
Raw but healing.
If you know someone who is in pain this Christmas, please share this poem. My prayer is that it is an encouragement to those who are hurting.