Whatever Ails You

Lying on my bed in agony

I see my Christ come to me,

Crawl toward me on hands and knees

From the corner of my bed;

Wraps me up in blankets and

in Himself,

Incubates my body in the searing

Heat of His Body & Heart.

Only our faces and feet are exposed;

He kisses the top of my head.

I know my sickness is of more than one form,

And I know that my body against Him

Hurts Him,

Pierces His Sacred Presence as venomously as a nail through His wrist.

Yet,

through it all, 

the more my nearness harms Him,

The more tenderly He speaks to me of Love,

The more gently He touches my face.

He is spiritually spread now,

As dead as the TonTon cut open to shelter the body of Skywalker,

Yet still breathing, still suffering,

Still passing each drop of DNA 

Slowly, painfully,

From He to Me;

A soul’s dialysis: This can’t be rushed.

He fills the dark hours of night

With words of Love for me;

My panicked impatience of knowing

I can’t heal faster

He silences with a “hush”

And the touch of His Mighty Right Hand.

He does not take away my pain –

Nor does He claim to –

He rather transforms it:

Fills the intervals with light and hope,

Moves the bodily overwhelm

Away from panic, loneliness

into something new;

Like a loss of virginity (my worldly mind struggles to make up better similes):

I learn to relax

In the arms of He who Truly Loves me,

Learn to trust Him in the lean hours When there is literally 

No one else to hang on to. 

– Morgan Hart

12/16/2018

The Patience of Jesus Christ

Once, I had a dream that Jesus was with me, and though it’s a bit hard to explain, He was basically doing a blood transfusion with me. Blood was being drained from Him, enough to replace all the blood in my own contaminated body. He appeared to be in agony, the process slowly wrenching from Him one painful drop at a time. I became aware, for the first time, what kind of astounding patience He had. In the midst of all that pain, He wouldn’t speed it up to get it out of the way faster, or slow it down to make the pain less intense, or say, “you’re at 90%, that’s good enough, let me stop now.” Until the very last drop had been bled, at the exact rate and amount of pain that God had determined was perfect, that’s what Jesus went with. His hand at the controls, able to tap out at any time, He didn’t stop til it was completed. 

Jesus showed this dedication multiple times in His own, very real, death. When offered something to dull His pain, He refused (Matthew 27:33-34). When given an opportunity to fight and escape when the soldiers came to arrest Him, He refused (Matthew 26:50-54). When given a chance to use His proven eloquence and reasoning to talk His way out of being condemned, He refused (John 19:9-10, Mark 15:3-5). The Greek word often translated “completed” also translates as “perfected.” Stubborn as a mule and patient as a mountain, our Lord Jesus cut no corners, accepted no easier substitute, and resisted, at all costs, the temptation to speed up or dial down the suffering. Unlike the person who, at the end of a long exercise routine, promised themselves to do 10 reps but instead does only 9 because it is “close enough,” Jesus did not stop short. I would personally be contented if He had earned for me 99% of the blessings He has given me, but He would not. He would not stop until it was complete. If He was to do this thing, He would see it perfected. 

“Dear Jesus, thank You for going to the Cross for me. Thank you for letting nails be driven into Your very Body for my sake, for having the patience to wait it all out over the course of many hours, for the patience to carry that awful knowledge for many years, and for Your utter commitment to bringing absolutely everything into my life that God had dreamed for me, at whatever personal cost to Yourself. Amen”

Prayer From a Stryker Frame

Lately I’ve had this poem in my head, and I thought I should definitely share it. It was written by E. Margaret Clarkson, a woman who lived with debilitating pain through much of her life. I find it extremely encouraging during times of physical pain.

A Stryker Frame was a kind of hospital bed designed to keep a person completely immobile. It was also made where it could be rotated 360°. Clarkson was awaiting surgery while she was in such a frame, some time before 1975.

I tried to seek permission to publish this work, but as the author died in 2008, and I found it in an out-of-print book, I have no idea who owns the work.

 ————————————-

Prayer From A Stryker Frame

Lord, I lie here,
Strapped down, motionless, almost insensible,
Skewered to this strange board
By the cruel, incredible pain;
Unable to move hand, foot, or head
Because of pain’s intensity
And the exigencies of the Stryker.
Pain racks my body through and through;
I lie on a bed of pointed, red-hot nails, Invisible forces pressing, pressing me down
Harder, harder into them…
I scarcely knew such pain could be.

Once You lay on a bed of coals,
Spiked to a stake by pain
Far beyond anything I experience now
Or can possibly imagine.
They lifted You up
Till the nails must have seared Your very soul,
Tearing Your body with the awful thud
Of a cross dumped roughly deep in a pit,
And You impaled upon it.

I lie here of my own necessity,
Hoping to be made well in time
By mystery of surgery;
Willing to be purified by pain
For my own advantage.
You hung there
Out of pure love,
Willing to be crucified, to die
For my sake;
Hoping to gain nothing for Yourself
But Heaven for me. Your anguished cry, “Forsaken!”
Wrung from parched, sinless lips,
Goes echoing down the ages; finds me here
And meets my need.
No “Why?” torments my fevered brain today
For I am not alone:
You answered all the questions
Of tortured human hearts
Once and for all. Your risen life
Within, around, above, beneath,
Supports me
In my pain,
And in Your peace I rest. They turn me over now. Circulation
And other physical requirements dictate
This painful thrust
Three times each day.

Here I lie, prostrate,
Throbbing, rigid,
Face to the dust,
Humble before Your feet.

Face to the dust, I worship You, my Lord,
In this strange, love-lit sanctuary,
Bowed by compulsion, true,
But also by new love,
Freshly born of pain,
Adoring You in wonder and in awe
Who for my sake

 Hung on Your cross.
 ———————————-
Relevant Scriptures:
Isaiah 53:3 (which is talking about Jesus)
For those who want to learn more about Christianity or wish to speak to a live counselor, I recommend peacewithgod.net.