Thursday, December 08, 2005

On the Operating Table

I have a fascination with medical shows. I have been an ER addict since the beginning. Of course there have been spurts when I kicked my habit, but like a good addict I always return.

My latest addiction is Grey's Anatomy--fast-paced, insightful yet witty, and full of twenty-somethings struggling with the same battles I face as a twenty-something, i.e. loneliness, not quite finding my niche, feeling perpetually caught in between what was and what is to come. I identify with these people and the lives they lead (except for the premarital sex).

This morning as Emily and I sat down to discuss Abba's Child, our latest textual conquest on our journey towards radical discipleship, my addiction helped me to put together a rather vivid word picture of where I currently am in my life:

In me there is a huge, gaping, bloody wound--a war wound if you will--a wound that has been bleeding for years. This wound causes me much grief, pain, and heartache--it is an emptiness within me. Over time I have stuffed the wound full of gauze as if doing triage on a battlefield. My strips of gauze are relationships, material possessions, past-times, etc., anything that provides a little bit of temporary relief and keeps the blood from pouring out. The gauze serves its purpose but does not serve it well.

This week one of those strips of cause that had been there for sometime, caked with dried blood, was removed. I can't begin to describe to you the pain of having it ripped off, tearing at the flesh and reopening the wound. But yet this is a reminder...

This is a reminder, incentive really, to get myself to the operating table. It's time, past time, to unpackage the wound, mend the insides, and close the wound. It's time for something beyond gauze. It's time for the Great Physician in all His glory to take scalpel in hand and fix the broken bits of me. It is time to let Him heal the wound, fill it with Himself, and carefully close it up.

On ER and Grey's when they tell a patient they have to have surgery, that patient never looks too excited. They never jump for joy at the thought of having their flesh cut open and human hands poking around their insides trying to fix the problem. That leads me to believe that I don't want to get to excited about surgery, even a metaphorical one, even when the Surgeon is God. But what the patients do get excited about is when they hear their is a 90% survival rate or they dream of what life will be like post-surgery. So I have no doubt that removing the rest of the gauze is going to hurt like duct-tape ripping the hair off your arms and that the surgery will be long and complicated, but the end result is grace and mercy and a Spirit-filled life--life how it was meant to be lived--as a child of God, an heir to His Kingdom.

Father, fill me with you. Fill my emptiness with You. Tear down the idols in my life. Rip away the addictions. Lead me to the place of brokenness, and in that place allow Your healing hands to go to work in my life. You are my hope, Lord, fill me.

"Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will really is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thank to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." Ephesians 5:15-20


kristi w said...

Good analogy, Amanda. I pray for a Masterful surgery, a speedy recovery and a long, fulfilling life free of the gaping hole. I'm sure you will always carry the scar to remind you of the gift of your healing.

Steve Maxwell said...

Yeah, What Kristi said! And I pray that the Steven Curtis Chapman/Mercy Me Christmas concert helped out in it's own way. God bless and remember to testify as to how good your Surgeon is.

Adam Wolfgang said...

I love word pictures, and this is a great, yet disgusting, example of your gift of word pictures.

Get well soon.

Amber G. Lehmann said...

preach, sister! many addictions plague me, and despite the fact that they crush me, i just love them and am finding that the first step of surrender is pretty much impossible on my own. i can do all the mental gymnastics i can muster in an attempt to convince myself of the truth of the situation, but it's all been pretty futile. i guess thats the definition of an addict? nonetheless, i'm glad that God has been faithful to perform the intervention in your life am confident that he can do the same for me! despite the pain, enjoy the process of healing.