Heart of clay in the Healer’s hand

Ever seen Inception? Well, I have. And honestly, I hated it. But at the insistence of many friends, I will give it another try. Anyhow, the only reason I mention this movie (not as an endorsement in the least, but simply as a reference point), is because I’m going to write about a dream I had. It was a dream about a girl who had a dream. And if you think that statement is hard to understand, try sitting through a movie that feels like reading a 2-hour run-on sentence of the previous sentence I just wrote.

So once upon a time… I dreamed of a girl who had an extraordinary dream. She didn’t tell me what happened before the dream. It was clear to me, however, that whatever it was… involved much trauma, fear, anxiety, and deep pain. So much, in fact, that the little girl told me she would have run anywhere or done anything to escape the trauma. Had she the tools and courage to do so, she would have taken her own life just so it would stop. It’s hard to relay this story, even in this blog, because I know that even as I type her anonymous story, there are thousands (perhaps millions) more traumatic experiences like hers happening at this very moment. They would do anything to escape.

In this dream of hers, she would have done anything to get away from the trauma. So she ran, as fast and as hard as she possibly could. As she ran, barely limping along, she left a trail of blood behind. She found herself running into the back door of an old house. It looked like no one was there, like it was a safe place to hide. So she pushed open the door and collapsed onto the dirty floor in her own blood. Emotionally, she fell apart. What now? Who to run to? Where to go?

Then, in her dream, she heard a soft gentle voice call, “Child.” To her amazement, she looked up and set her eyes upon a small framed man, one who didn’t look so scary. In fact, he looked a lot like the pictures of Jesus she had seen in Sunday school. There was something about Him that made her feel safe. She didn’t say a word. He called, even quieter this time, “Child, My child, come sit with me. Tell me about it.” Without even thinking, she pulled herself out of her own blood and up off the floor. She limped over to this unknown, yet gentle, man. She crawled up on the big comfy couch where He sat, reaching up for His outstretched hand. At the tender grasp of his hand, she knew it was safe. She snuggled into His lap as He slowly pulled her close to his breast. She could hear His heartbeat. It was beating just as fast as hers was. And as she heard the beats of His heart slowing to a gentler thump, she noticed her own breathing subsiding and her own heartbeat thumping in synchronization with his.

He whispered, “Child, tell me about it”. She whispered in response, “I can’t. I just know it hurts. It just hurts so much.” He held her safely as she poured out her heart with tears that words simply could not convey. He heard the meaning in her tears. And He understood. As her weeping slowed to a gentle whimper, He whispered into her ear with his hand tenderly holding the other side of her head, “Child, give me your heart”. And in child-like fashion, she did just that. Somehow, magically, she reached her tiny hand into her chest, trying to take hold of the bloody and bruised heart within. Touching her heart hurt even worse. But she pulled it out slowly and placed it in His hand held out in front of her. It oozed and dripped with bright red blood as it passed from her tiny hand to His… a hand that looked much like a carpenters hand she had seen before.

He looked down into her eyes, then lavished her with a gentle smile. He then fixed His gaze upon her tiny, barely beating heart held in His hand. It seemed to be falling apart in his hand. Still oozing with blood out of the cracked and broken places. His gaze fixed securely upon that tiny heart, and it being held securely in the grip of his hand, he then began to gently move his thumb along the flesh of the heart. He gently soothed over the broken places. To the little girl, it looked so much like a potter smoothing over a broken heart made of soft clay. She could clearly see his fingerprints on those formerly broken places. As she watched, and He watched, the pain was releasing its power over her and she realized that the tiny places that once gushed with bright red blood were now patched up and smoothed over. It was magical. And it was real. He stopped up the blood flowing from broken places. She continued to watch until his hand was covered in her blood, and her heart was held still and safely in his hand… beautiful, unbloody, clean, smooth, like a new heart with old scars. And then she felt a warmth as he gently placed that heart back into her chest where it once was. It didn’t hurt anymore.

He looked down at her, fixing his gaze into her eyes, and whispered, “Child, this is what I do. Come back to me, crawl up into my lap, and give me your heart the next time it hurts so much. Don’t run anywhere else. Run straight to me, and I promise to heal your painful wounds”.

That little girl, when she woke up, turned to me (who had been watching her sleep this whole time) and with a look of pure joy, whispered, “Rapha. Jehovah Rapha is the name of the man who I ran to. He’s safe. He’s good. He’s always waiting. And he heals my heart when it bleeds.”

And a little child will lead them.


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