I was reading in my Pathophysiology textbook recently and came across a picture…a picture I had to cover up because I could no longer look at it.
At first, it was in some morbid way, fascinating…the gaping wound, the structures beneath the skin that should never have been visible, the hesitation marks on the skin where he couldn’t quite get the courage to do it.
And then I looked harder, for a moment.
He had dark hair–I could tell even though the picture was only of a portion of his neck, because of the remaining stubble there. I wonder why he didn’t shave before he did it. If he even thought about it. Maybe life was so out of control that even something as simple as shaving felt like too much.
From the little that could be seen, he looked young…time had not yet etched itself in to his skin. I wondered what his face looked like…if there would have been clues on his face or in the depth of his eyes that would have told someone of his pain.
Instead, the horrible truth of what he thought of his life and how it should end stared at me through the page in wet shades of red.
I wonder why he did it.
I wonder if he had people that loved him. Or if he just didn’t know that they loved him.
I wonder if he asked God why his life was the way it was. Why it was so hard…why it felt so hopeless…
I covered the picture with a bright pink post-it note. It didn’t really help the deep, painful, heavy sadness in my heart, because I know what is under it’s florescent opaqueness. Just as the brightness of the post-it note is now highlighted on the page, his story–and what I don’t know if it–is highlighted in my head. What is truly etched into the page, under the post-it note, is etched into my heart. I can try to cover it up, along with the rest of the suffering of the world…
Or I can face the suffering. Look it in the face, hate the sin that caused it, and pray for grace for this fallen world.
Pray for love in my heart for those around me–love that I say out loud so that those I know are certain that someone cares for them.
Pray for the people who have no hope, that Jesus would shine rays of joy into their hearts.
And pray for Jesus to come soon.
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.