I recently went to a park for a couple of hours to gain greater perspective on our family’s current trial. I was feeling like I was breathing but not inhaling any oxygen. Have you every felt like that before? Have you ever felt like you were breathing and drowning at the same time? It is a weird and unsettling feeling; however, I was not willing to resign myself to the emotion. I needed to get out of the hospital. I needed some distance from the beeps, alarms, and flashing screens of the NICU ward. I needed some fresh air.
The outdoor air was great, but the scenery was frustrating. The beautiful day had attracted hundreds of people to the same park. Everywhere I turned, there were images of people enjoying the comfort of planned leisure. Some were jogging with ease. Others were seated on benches taking a Vitamin-D bath. Dogs galloped after frisbees. Collegians played catch dawning university-branded baseball caps. Everyone seemed to be enjoying the park in the way they had planned–everyone but me. I showed up not knowing what I was looking for. I wasn’t there at the park for leisure. I was there searching for answers to questions I could not articulate. I came to the park because I had a condition that the hospital couldn’t treat. My soul was bleeding.
I attempted to walk around with my invisible wound, but my legs finally got tired of over-compensating. I identified a nearby pavilion and surmised that a picnic table sounded like a good place to lay a burden down, so I meandered toward a table with a strange red box sitting on top of it. The box was made out of lunch-pail tin which made it seem old. But the brilliant red paint and perfectly inscribed words also made it seem new. It was awkward–more so because of its placement than its design. It was out in the open. It wasn’t secured in any way to the table. It just sat there waiting for a hurt person to use it, and I was that hurt person.
I played with the firetruck-red box for a few moments. I was mostly thankful for an intriguing distraction. I had never encountered such a unique first-aid kit, and for it to be unclaimed seemed so unlikely due to its well-kept nature. For this reason, I never opened it. I simply tilted it from side-to-side and listened to the contents scurry from one end to the other.
The activity didn’t make much sense; however, I gained much comfort from listening to the sound of gauze, bandages, and ointment skating over the smooth surface of tin. Hearing the remedies for a wound slide back and forth provided me with a solace I could have never anticipated. It was as if the contents of the kit represented a future healing that was headed my way. And that’s when it hit me; I knew what I was looking for: I was in search of a first-aid kit that could heal a wounded soul. This kit wouldn’t be tangible; it would have to be spiritual. I was bleeding on the inside, but the wound couldn’t be detected on a CT scan…my invisible hurt required an invisible band-aid because it was caused by an invisible arrow. One of Satan’s fiery darts had gotten passed my shield of faith. And now I needed an invisible physician to heal me.
Here is Jesher’s current medical report:
JAUNDICE–Today we noticed that Jesher’s sclera (or white part of the eye) has turned yellow. This means that his body, specifically his under-developed liver, is still struggling to filter out ‘bilirubin.‘ We need Jesher’s filtering system to develop faster than usual so that pockets of bilirubin do not threaten his eye sight or his brain functions. PLEASE ASK THE LORD TO BREATHE OVER JESHER AND ERADICATE THE HIGH LEVELS OF BILIRUBIN WHILE ALSO EXPEDITING THE DEVELOPMENT OF JESHER’S LIVER AND GALLBLADDER FUNCTIONS.
TESTING DAY–Each Monday, Jesher goes through major testing that helps the doctors and nurses chart his weekly care plan. PLEASE PRAY THAT YAHWEH WOULD PERSONALLY DIRECT AND GUIDE THE CARE PROVIDERS BY ENDOWING THEM WITH DIVINE WISDOM AND SUPERNATURAL ABILITIES TO HEAL.
As I sat at the table, applying pressure to my invisible injury, I slowly undulated the first-aid kit creating a rhythm. For some reason, the rhythm of the rotating contents brought to mind an old hymn–one of those prayer meeting hymns that we rarely sing anymore. I could only remember the tune, so I googled the lyrics and sang as I read:
Sometimes I feel discouraged / And think my work’s in vain / But then the Holy Spirit / Revives my soul again / There is a balm in Gilead / To make the wounded whole / There is a balm in Gilead / To heal the sin-sick soul.
A more perfect song could not have been sung in that moment. I finally knew what I was looking for. My bleeding soul could only be healed by one cooling salve, the Balm in Gilead. So may God grant my family access to this healing balm, because we are desperately in need of a few soul band-aids.
“For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, and my blessing on your offspring.” Isaiah 44:3