Friday, March 01, 2013

Nothing but the Blood

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” Ernest Hemingway

Blood is a messy business. Sticky and smelly.


Essential for life.

Blood carries good things all the way to the extremities.

Blood is necessary.

It also connotes unclean. No one likes someone else to bleed on them.

Blood can carry disease.

And healing.

It’s paradoxical.

Blood can forever bond you to another. Or forever separate you.

Either way, blood means something.

Every time.

When I think about writing, Hemingway’s description fits.

Writing can also be a messy business. And it is almost always personal to someone.

Writing can stink. And stick to you.

Writing can carry ideas and stories across giant expanses of time. Into the extremities.

Writing can be distasteful and repulse. It can hurt. And heal.

But writing means something.

Every time.

I have sat at my computer in the last months and 'bled.'
But in large part, I have kept the outpouring behind closed doors.

As I seek to push into writing on a schedule again, I open those doors and will display some of my harried, scattered furlough thoughts here.

I’m learning. Exercising this vulnerability that shares something. Anything.

Recognizing, that where the blood pours out a wound often remains.

And praying that I just might have the courage to work from my wounds.

To speak.

“In the same way, after the supper he took the cup saying, ‘This is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” Luke 22:20

I am able only because He bled first.

“This is my blood of the covenant which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” Matt 26:28

And saved me.

“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.” Eph 2:13

What an incredible giver is He that after the beatings. After the betrayal. After the pain and the humiliation and the dying. After all the horrible Alone-ness.

He showed up again.

He could have just been seen. Proclaimed in a loud voice. 

He could have gathered the crowds again and said, “See, you crazy crazies. I AM who I said I AM.”

Instead he came to locked rooms. To hidden places. To two guys walking on the road. And to Women.

He spoke. He breathed. He ate.

And he let his beloved touch His wounds. Those tender, recently torn spots.

“…Though the doors were locked Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.’
Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!”  John 20:26b-28

He let them touch.

So that they would believe.

The wounds testify don’t they?

Where we have survived.

Even barely.

There He stands too.  (though not barely)

Fully drained of his lifeblood.

Fully reborn. 

He did it first. And asks me to follow.

Not just to the pews. Or the conference.

Or even to the social justice cause.

“Then he said to them all: ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.” Luke 9:23-24

He asks me to pour out my 'blood.'  To surrender. 

To lose my life.

So that I might live.

“To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.” Rev 1:5b-6