The patient has been struggling with internal bleeding for a number of years. Her doctors have struggled to locate the source of her bleeding. They have removed some of her intestines to reduce her bleeding. In the mean time she has constantly had transfusions to keep her alive. In our last visit she said that the doctors are now considering if they should remove her stomach to control the bleeding that is taking place there. They don’t know if this will stop the bleeding or if it will just continue in another place in her body.
As she contemplates whether she should consider more surgery she is wondering about a number of things. Since her quality of life has been so poor she is wondering if she should stop trying all these medical interventions and just let her life come to its end? She is wondering will she ever regain the energy she needs to be a real mother to her children and a real wife to her husband? As a deeply devout Christian she wonders will she ever be able to use her God given gifts so others can see how every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of all gifts?
As she poured out her questions and her anguish and her struggles to find her way I realized she was not only bleeding internally, she was also bleeding from her heart. As her spirit struggled to understand and tried to find where God was leading her her faith was also losing blood. She was bleeding everywhere.
As I thought of how she wanted to live and serve her Lord and carry out her calling I thought of the last hours of Jesus on the cross. I thought of how he was nailed to that cross. He was bleeding from his wounds. He was also bleeding from His heart that He could no longer walk freely among the crowds. He could no longer touch the sick. He could no longer sit and teach the crowds. He was helpless. And yet He was still able to be Himself. He was still able to love. He was still able to endure. He was still able to be patient. He was still able to trust. And the thief next to Him saw that and asked Him to remember him when He came into His Kingdom. The centurion saw it and confessed Him as his Lord. The women saw it and hung onto that love until they saw Him again on Easter Sunday.
So I asked my friend to consider that image of Jesus on the cross. If she cannot be the wife and mother she wants to be can she be a patient who touches the lives of the nurses and doctors who care for her? Will they be touched by her strength and her ability to endure all the pain and stress that have come into her life? Will other patients see her suffering and be encouraged by how she is enduring hers?
Sometimes when we are bleeding internally and spiritually and there is blood everywhere there is no where else to turn except to the blood of Jesus that also flows everywhere.