Field Surgery

It feels like living in a minefield, this walking through depression; an achingly slow process of unearthing harmful things buried deep for years, fearing the fallout of their exposure to air and light, knowing absolutely that they must be pried out to make the soil safe for building on and planting in.

Some of the mines are easily discovered and, by the grace of God, disarmed fairly quickly, with minimal damage.

You know the general area where some of the mines are located, and you know that they are going to explode when you try to move them. So you make plans and equip yourself as best you can with God’s great help, and avoid them until you feel strengthened for the task.

But one day you are walking along unconcernedly over ground that has been swept many times, ground that you believe has been completely cleared, and a land mine blows up directly beneath your feet, ripping you to stunned little shreds.

The best you can hope is that it happens when you are walking in company with friends, friends who are just far enough off not to be injured in the blast but near enough to rush to your aid. They assess your wounds when you cannot, and discern that immediate attention is required – here, now, even with nothing to dull the pain. The field surgeon, wounded himself, steps forward to take charge, but your friends stay to help. They are obedient to the surgeon’s instructions, doing what must be done as firmly as necessary and as tenderly as possible. When it is over, they stay with you still, holding you, murmuring prayers, singing lullabies in the dark, until you are strong enough again to stand, to walk on.

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