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When Old Blood Drips
by Jennifer Kelly on November 25th, 2014

My chest hurts from breathing lately.

It takes too much thought and effort to concentrate on one solitary thing. I’m moving slowly and painfully through my emotions. Sifting through them and trying to find one of comfort to help.
We have this notion that going through healing (of any kind) is this wonderful experience for our minds, bodies and hearts. But I’m not so sure that’s true.

Going through the actual process of healing is excruciating. It can feel like a thousand knives protruding into your soul.

And it leaves you so tired.
So mind-numbingly-freaking-tired.
There’s only so much relief that reading and watching can successfully provide during periods of physical boredom and mental exhaustion.

I feel like I've been slammed against the wall. My body is forced to sit. Now, I only stare and ache. Eventually, I go back to listening to myself breathe. And each time I inhale, I'm reminded again-and-again-and-again, that it hurts. 
Healing can come directly after pain or loss or sickness of some kind. But the hard kind of healing; from surgery or cancer or the loss of someone close, is the most difficult kind. It feels too slow, too embarrassing, too humiliating. You understand why they call it a process. To lean on others that are close to you for help, to be completely useless on most days, and to just sit there. To allow time to do what it needs to do naturally.
God, where are you?
Please, can you take the pain away?
Why is this happening to me?
Help me, please God – Help.
And you hear nothing. Not one thing.

And I know anyone and everyone has gone through a dark time. The so-called “Dark Night of the Soul”. We read through these precious stories flippantly and never expect it to happen to us. And then we are surprised when life shows up and knocks on our door. Darkness enters and we sit there. Only able to concentrate on our breathing.
Pain and loss and healing can feel hollow.
Deafening. Ringing. Unrelenting.
And that’s when I realize I was scared. Fear suddenly creeps in out of nowhere. Cozying up to loss and pain. And they sit. Side by side - like old long lost friends.

And then I started to understand that I was going to be here for a while. That I'm going to stay in this mess for a bit. That this event is going to be a life-mark. One that I will always remember. One that will always bear a scar.

And finally from exhaustion, I fall asleep.
The sun goes up and it goes back down again. The exact same way, everyday. Some days seem greyer and more distant. But time does help. And I’m not so sure why that is. Time gives us something that nothing else can. Space, maybe? Moments to disengage and let cells in your body do what they need to do. Heal.
I’ve learned that pain, loss, death, and healing can conquer us. If we let them. They can invade our lives and strip us bare. The raw-bone-deep kind of bare that all but remains of a person going through something traumatic.

You see, we all have old blood.
The same colored, crimson deep-red blood.
It runs out of us all.
Alan Paton says, “We pray for many things, for loved ones, for one sick, for one dying, for health, for much-needed money, for success in examinations, for our country, for the peace of the world. We pray for forgiveness of sins, for conquest of one particular sin that defeats us, for help in some situation that frightens or threatens us. We pray especially hard – most of us – when our own safety or security is threatened”
I can't help but think of all the people that are hurting right now. On the painful and hard and cold floor of grief. I have no explanation to give for life’s deafening blows. I have no philosophy, religion, or psychological propaganda. I am merely offering comfort from someone who’s facing the dark night right now alongside of you. All this pain. All this hurt. All this suffering.
The sun will rise. Time will keep going. And we can cling to hope together. We can desperately cling for love and hope and peace in chaos. Because pain and loss and despair can’t take that away… our soul, our hope, our love and our God.

The forces of hell can’t take that away.

I know that It’s still deafening.
All of it.
But would you let me sit next to you in this moment.
Let's be quiet and let the sound of our breathing remind us that we aren't alone.

I will sit here on the floor next to you. In my doubt, in my hurt, in my despair…
And while old blood drips. I will sing a song of hope and praise and love to Jesus. Because all the love and goodness can only come from Him.
His old blood covers it all and I’m in desperate need of it today.

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