"Surely He has borne our infirmities
and carried our diseases;
yet we counted him stricken,
struck down by God and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
crushed for our iniquities,
upon Him was the punishment that made us whole,
and by his bruises (wounds) we are healed."
Isaiah 53:4,5 (NRSV)
Wounded. Jesus was wounded and crushed for our sins and diseases. He suffered beyond what we could ever imagine or comprehend. Physically he was beaten, whipped, and killed. Emotionally he was betrayed by one of His own, denied by another, and abandoned by the fearful. He suffered and died for the world....the weary....the wounded.
The woman kept to herself, filled with shame and guilt over her past. Alcoholism consumed her life for so many years, more important in the moment than anyone or anything. Her body hungering for the liquid more than breath itself. She lived wounded by disease and addiction. Weary and broken, soaked in the stench of alcohol, shame and loss. The loss of her dignity and her dreams, the loss of her child, and any fragment of hope for a future free of the chains that bound her. And the shame that covered her like a thick fog permeated everything, a heavy burden to carry.
And then one cloudless day, after many blurry years of hopelessness, courage rose to the surface like long forgotten sunken treasure. Courage to stop the insanity. After many attempts, the desire for sobriety took hold deep inside and the days turned into months and the body's cravings became quieter and the desire to be sober and free grew louder until they vibrated into a new song.......a harmony of healing and of new birth.
Restoration of a wounded soul merged with reconciliation of another and relationships were renewed and reborn. Forgiveness began to take root, and dignity returned. Yet shame kept her from the foot of the cross. The cross where Jesus understood wounds and suffering. The woman wondered how she could be forgiven by God when she could not forget the cost nor forgive herself. But Jesus died for the wounds she suffered and those she inflicted. He would not leave her where he found her, because He died to set her free. By His own wounds.
He began to bring into her the truth of the Living Word, nourishing the heart and transforming the mind with His love and the love of others. Self-forgiveness eventually came with understanding and love. Life took on a freshness, and joy came on morning wings.
The broken woman had walked wounded for so long. Until Jesus. Jesus, by His wounds healed hers. When years later the pastor spoke the words "ashes to ashes" over her grave, family and friends gathered in numbers to remember with sorrow and joy, a life restored. By His wounds.
I am linking up today with Bonnie over at Faith Barista Jam where today's prompt is the word "wounded". I write this with love and remembrance for a courageous woman who's birthday is being celebrated in Heaven once again this year thanks to Jesus.