Portraits of Prayer — Wounded

If prayer is simply communicating with the Father, then it doesn’t have to look the same for everybody all the time. I communicate with people in a multitude of ways: facial expressions, text messages, phone calls, in person, and (on rare occasion these days) with a hand-written note. My prayers don’t always include a “Dear God” and an “Amen”. Sometimes there are words. Sometimes I just point. Sometimes I scream. Sometimes I sit in silence and just emote. Sometimes, as a means of intercession, I write parable-esque vignettes of how I would like things to be. The following is one such vignette.

Wounded

The wound was raw despite the amount of time that had passed.  She thought it would have healed by now.  Most days she was able to ignore it, mastering the protective maneuvers necessary to avoid aggravating the injury and keeping it covered under layers of clothing so nobody could see or ask.  It was none of their business.

Well aware of the wound, He vividly remembered the events leading up to the injury, watching with a broken heart the evils His creation managed to inflict upon each other.  He winced when He saw her simultaneously favor it and ignore it, leaving her soul with a limp.  Longing to provide healing, He patiently waited for her to mention the pain, a true indication she was ready to invite Him into that part of her world.

She blamed Him, so they had yet to discuss it.  She knew He was there when it happened, but He had done nothing to prevent it.  Stubbornly refusing to address the incident, she flinched whenever He drew near.  If she allowed Him close enough to examine the gash, she feared the pain would be more than she could bear, no matter how gentle the touch.

She was doubled over, gripping her side when she finally approached. He gently sat her on His knee and wiped her tears, knowing she had long dreaded this moment. Someone had unintentionally nudged her with just enough force to re-open the wound.  Fluids oozed through garments now stuck to the most vulnerable portion of her flesh.  She knew she would grow faint if she removed the fabric on her own.

He lifted her chin, looked into her eyes with a kindness that pierced her blame, and reassured her that the pain she was about to endure was the beginning of the healing process.  He wrapped one arm around her shoulder to steady her and, with the other hand, tenderly began to separate the clothes from the wound.  She cried out and buried her face in His chest until the process was over, dizzy from the pain, yet oddly comforted by His touch.

The gaping tear was bruised and feverish with infection.  As He cleaned the wound, He wept with her, grieved over the broken world in which she lived and remembering the price He paid to redeem it, to redeem wounds like this. She observed His tears in between her own grimaces and was surprised to realize that this hurt Him, too.

He was somehow able to bind and bandage the wound without ever removing His arm from her shoulder. When He had finished, He kissed her forehead and wrapped His other arm around her.  She didn’t flinch.