If you follow me on social media then you know that last week was a bit of a disaster. I went to the hospital at 1:30am on Saturday and later that day I had an emergency appendectomy. I was released to go home on Sunday afternoon.
On Monday, our third child, Blake, decided to be a copycat and ended up in the hospital and on Tuesday she had her own emergency appendectomy. Since our second oldest, Jaden, had his out in January, we feel as though time is ticking away while we wait to see who is next to go to Appendicitis Land.
My pain started Friday morning around 11am and progressively got worse as the day went on. I was so relieved that within ten minutes of arriving at the hospital they had an IV in my arm and were leading me to a bed.
As soon as I crawled under the covers, they hung up a bag containing morphine and gravol and started running it into my body.
It was amazing how quickly sleep could come then. I felt drowsy, dizzy, and incapable of staying conscious which was a sweet gift given the amount of pain I was in.
I have no idea how long I would sleep for, but whenever I woke up and felt the pain coming on again, I just rang for my nurse and she would hang up a fresh bag.
I was living the dream.
This continued after they took me upstairs to my own room to await surgery and then even after the surgery was completed.
Post-surgery when you wake up, they encourage you to try to walk as soon as possible but when I tried to move I kept throwing up from the pain.
My brilliant nurse told me that she was going to get a fresh bag of morphine and gravol, pump it in, let it soak for 15 minutes and then we would get up and try to walk again.
It worked like a charm and I was able to shuffle up and down the hall. We did this a few more times before I was discharged and set free to go home…my own bed, my loved ones with me…the place where I belonged.
As I was showering at home and carefully washing around the incisions, my peripheral vision caught the little IV mark still visible in the crease of my left elbow. I stopped to look at it.
The IV had been a gift. At the instant I felt pain, I could ring the bell and fresh pain meds would flow into my body and make it bearable again…sometimes even peaceful.
For some reason, before I could control it, the thought came,
“I wish God had an IV into me…
that I could just ring a bell and he would pump relief
into my life to make it bearable…
maybe even peaceful.”
Then I realized what this week is.
The week leading up to Easter.
Maybe the crucifixion was one gigantic emergency appendectomy. Ironically, that was on a Friday as well.
People were writhing in pain. It was hard to function, hard to take steps on in life, 911 was on the tip of their tongues…the world was aching for a Savior so they could be rescued from the agony of life.
It was too much. If help didn’t come, something was going to rupture.
And then the sharp poke of a needle.
The arrest happens. They take Jesus away, beat him, mock him, humiliate him. Here’s the thing…as much as I dreaded the IV, I knew that with it came the hope of relief.
So with all of this abuse and violence on Jesus, the IV was put into the right place…the perfect life-giving vein to distribute the relief soon to come.
As Jesus is nailed to cross…oh the pain those nails must have caused him, pain on so many levels.
As they raise the cross…not only can you feel the jarring of the nails ripping into his body as the beam falls into place, but you can hear the wheeling in of the IV pole and the crunch of the plastic bag, filled to its maximum capacity with the sweet relief of mercy, grace, and forgiveness as God hangs it where it belongs to do the job.
The bag is set up high on a pole
so the pain relief can flow down
into our bloodstream.
And out pours Jesus’ blood. Flow down, sweet Jesus. Please let your sweet relief pour down into my bloodstream and fill my soul.
As Jesus asks for our forgiveness and takes his last breath…can you feel it? Can you feel the power of the meds finally coming in? Taking over? Making life bearable? Perhaps even peaceful. Even if just peace in our hearts.
In the last few years, I’ve learned that the IV is a temporary permanent situation.
Since my first marriage ended, I’ve been finding God all over again. Part of that has been learning that I have this constant IV connection.
At the slightest hint
I can ring the bell and
ask for help.
This has always been a vague concept to me but slowly it is becoming more tangible.
My IV looks like prayer. It looks like tears with no words but knowing my God knows what I mean.
It looks like a worship song being on ‘repeat’ over and over until the truth of it is coursing through my body.
It looks like going insanely slow through the gospels – I mean crazy slow – just to get a grasp of what Jesus – and therefore, God – is REALLY like. Not my messed up images.
It looks like counseling to steer me in the right direction and throw off the lies I’ve been lugging around for years.
It looks like learning to trust my new husband so that God can love me through another human.
Honestly, my IV also looks like journaling and pouring out my heart so others can read it and hopefully get something from it too.
The IV coming from my God is a cocktail of meds to bring sweet relief until I’m finally discharged and set free to go home.
Sweet home. My own home, my own bed with my loved ones. The place where I belong.
where IV and their poles don’t even exist
because there finally is no need.
Yes, so perhaps this weekend we celebrate the Great Appendectomy – the removal of the unnecessary organ of sin and guilt. And sweet pain relief coursing through our body with mercy, grace and forgiveness.
In the meantime, my wish came true. God did give us an IV. We just have to walk around with our poles a little bit longer.
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;