A friend's wounds

I have re-found my obsession with my friend death. 

This is due, largely, to my joining a writing group that meets on Thursday nights and the opportunity I have to really follow this journey that I began years ago. One of the challenges I have with befriending death is reconciling the invitation that Christ gives me to die with the inescapable reality that death has wounded me and, even more, has wounded others that I know and love. The staggering implications of the death of a loved one is inescapable as we try to mourn well. We really try. Clay that we are we don't often succeed when his unavoidable striking lands so close to our hearts.

I am not sure where it came from, but I thought of the wounds that friends of mine have inflicted upon me. Some have caught me off guard and have cut me so deeply I needed, literally, days to recover. Some so deep that I can still feel the warm blood on my hands as I breathlessly assessed the damage. These are my friends. These are their wounds. 

And each one of them saved me.

Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy. (Proverbs 27:6 NASB)

And there it was. The wounds of death save me. As they shake and stagger they do not destroy. As they send me reeling they do not break. As they cover me they do not bury. Rather, faithful friend that he is, his blows sting but they awaken, warm, and aid. They allow me to enter into the suffering of Christ. They remind me of my one time separation from God. They humble me in front of Him. They make my longing for heaven more acute. They paint a true picture of this life and even the life to come. They allow me to see the process of re-creation. They give me the opportunity to serve. 

His cold breath, his furrowed brow, his "no more", his blisters and cuts; these piercings have but one thing for me: they bid me to take up but one of my many thousand salvations. My Love offers me life through them.

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