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*a guest devotional by author Stephanie Prichard*
On the last day of our honeymoon, Don and I went to the beach within walking distance of our hotel. Neither of us was big on swimming, but, c’mon, we were in Hawaii! Besides, we’d be making footprints on the very sand where they’d filmed the movie “From Here to Eternity.”
Wouldn’t you know it—I’d barely entered the water when I stepped on coral. It cut right into the tender flesh of my sole and hurt like crazy. I tried to staunch the steady dribble of blood with my towel, but my Marine Corps husband declared we had to return to the hotel and get medical attention. So, hanging onto my man, I hobbled what seemed like from here to eternity down the long, long sidewalk to our hotel. My progress was marked by a trail of faint but bloody footprints.
The air in the hotel lobby was cool against my skin after the long march in the sun. Yet perspiration beaded my body and trickled down my forehead. And the lobby seemed awful dim. I thought about removing my sunglasses, but the elevator doors opened and Don all but hauled me inside. Suddenly, my knees went rubbery; the walls spun.
The last thing I remember was Don punching the button for our floor. The elevator lurched upward, but I lurched downward. Don grabbed me with both arms and glanced at my face. My sunglasses, he told me later, were pushed to the side and hung from one ear. My eyes were open in a blank stare. My arms and legs were limp noodles. He struggled to hold me upright.
Ding. The elevator doors slid open. Five people stepped forward, but stopped halfway. Their eyes widened and their mouths went slack. No one said anything. They literally froze.
My husband stared back, equally frozen, seeing himself with their eyes—a man standing in a pool of blood, a young woman limp in his arms, her head thrown back, eyes open but not seeing, mouth drooling, sunglasses swaying from one ear.
Ding. The doors shut out his audience.
Belatedly, he realized the gawkers were standing in the hotel lobby. The elevator must have gone to our floor while he was distracted with me, then returned to the lobby for its new load of passengers. Quickly, he punched the button for our floor again. This time when the doors opened, he picked me up and carried me to our room.
Within an hour, we were at a hospital to have the gash cleaned. The doctor didn’t anesthetize my foot, evidently confusing me as the Marine instead of my husband. Big mistake. Not only were the bottoms of my feet ticklish, but inserting a probe into my wound and poking it around was asking too much of me. Without thinking—honestly, it was purely a reflex action—I kicked the doctor in the face.
Fortunately, I only grazed his nose, but my husband was ordered to hold down my legs for the rest of the procedure. My wound was being cleansed for my benefit, but my body interpreted it as an attack and wanted to respond with its own aggression.
Isaiah 53 tells us about Jesus’s wound.
His wound was fatal—He died “for our transgressions.” Why? To cleanse us—“by His stripes we are healed.” And because His wound was voluntary, indeed purposed, He bore it meekly—“as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth.”
Jesus took our wounds to be His. Amazing. Thank you, Lord. Thank you for the cleansing, for the complete healing. How we love You!
Know what else? We’re on a honeymoon now. Yep, from here to eternity.