Engraved:Wounds

Rachel immediately sat up, “W… Who?”

“Your father,” Devon repeated.

“Before she could say another word, he said hesitantly, “I am coming to Jamaica this week. I would like you to consider meeting up with me.”

Rachel’s mind was spinning. She thought maybe she was in another dream. She was then startled by a questioning hello, she quickly responded, “Yes, I heard you.”

Before she could say another word, he added, “I know this is a shock to you. I have so many things to share with you, and over the phone won’t be ideal. You can take some time to consider and get back to me. This is my number.” With that, she said okay and the line went dead.

The temperature rose in the room, and she started to have trouble breathing. She stepped into her slippers and went out to the balcony.

She welcomed the crisp air that surrounded her.

She placed her fingers on her right temple, that has been throbbing from the sound of his name. She struggled to wrap her mind around what just took place. “Was Sarah raped? How did Devon Dixon even get my number?” she questioned.

She didn’t have an answer to any of them, so she did what any young adult do when they are confused. She called her mother.

“Mom?” she couldn’t wait for her to say hello first.

“Yes, Rachel? What’s wrong?” her mother sensed the struggle in her voice.

“Devon Dixon called.” Rachel said flatly.

There was a deafening silence on the line.

“Mom?” Rachel said.

“Yes, I am here,” she responded softly.

“What did he say?” She continued working hard not to sound unnerved.

“He said he is coming to Jamaica this week, and he wants to meet up with me,” Rachel replied.

“Oh. Do you want to?” Her mother asked.

“I don’t know,” Rachel confessed.

Her mother then asked, “What exactly don’t you know?”

Rachel thought for a moment and then answered, “I don’t know if I want to meet him. I don’t even know if I want a relationship with him. I don’t know if I am strong enough to look at his face. I don’t know if I will believe what he says even if I meet up with him. I don’t know how I will respond if worse, he pretends as if it is all good between us like he hasn’t left me before I was even born.”

Her mother listened carefully and said, “Sounds to me you haven’t let go of the hurt.”

Rachel shot back quickly, “I have, it’s just that I don’t want to allow him to walk away from me again. I don’t know if I can handle that.”

Her mother said, “I understand. I have been praying for us that we may experience healing. I have been praying for Devon too, your father. My heart desires to see us put our differences aside and have a healthy relationship.

Rachel was in disbelief; this certainly could not have been her bitter, and torn mother speaking like this. Rachel knew she must have been with Jesus.

“Where have I been.” she thought. “I prayed sincerely too.”

She said out loud, “So, am I supposed to just drop my guard and forget about everything? Mom, this man broke my heart. He took away my right to grow up with an appreciation for authority and security. Now that God has restored me, I don’t need him.” she said as-a-matter-of-factly.

Her mom said, “If you were truly restored, you would have spoken from a place of grace and not judgment.”

Rachel didn’t have a comeback but promised herself she would. She told her mom that they would talk soon and ended the call.

Sleep never came to her mind as she stepped back into her room. She needed an answer and she needed it now.

“I should have the right to involve who I want in my life. Anything that affects my peace should be cut off or in this case, they should remain disconnected.”

She knew that only God’s word would suffice her, so she opted to research it. She sat in her chair and opened the nude sprayed Lenovo laptop. She went straight to google. She typed in scriptures for forgiveness and then clicked the search icon. Little did she know that her research would take up hours of her time. It was 1:00 am and still nothing. She then met up on the Parable of the Prodigal Son. She decided to read each verse carefully. When she started verse 20, a ton of brink sank in her belly.

The Father had compassion for the son. This was something she has never felt for her father. She thought, “The father didn’t even wait on an apology either.”

“This can’t be right,” she said out loud. “This is not fair at all.” she continued.

She shut the laptop angrily got up from the desk and decided to take what hours of rest she had left before sunrise. The sun was peering through the window above her head and unto her white furry blanket. It was the brightness of the light that woke up Rachel. The time of day felt rather strange as early mornings were cooler and darker. She reached over to check her phone. When she saw the time, she screeched and tore off the sheets. It was 10:30 am and she had a class at 11:00 am. She frantically started to look for her bathroom essentials and headed to the shower. It was the fastest one she has ever taken. She got dressed quickly after returning, stopping briefly at the door to pull up the back of her ballet flats. She breezed to class and out of breath she sat down to take out her, Introduction to Biology notebook.

The topic for today was ‘The Cellular Biology of Wound Healing’. It was 11:15 am and the lecturer had finished the introduction. She then started discussing the first phase, which was the Inflammatory stage. At this stage, sensors around the wound notify the rest of the body that there is a breach. The part that stood out to Sarah was the fact that the body’s first response was to unite the wound’s edges. To close the breach, to reconcile. When she realized what was happening, she said, “Really Jesus?” The rest of the class was a real struggle for her mentally and physically. Her stomach started to make loud noises. “It’s better to be late and not starving.” She thought. She was never happier to see 1:00 pm. She rushed out of class. Still shuffling to put her things into her bag, she bumped into someone. “I am so sorry,” she said. The person had already started helping her when they recognized the voice. Rachel froze when they made eye contact. Sarah said, “Hi Rachel.”

“Hi, Sarah.” She pushed back sights of her crying and wrestling with that man in the dream.

Sarah saw that she was in distress, “Are you okay?” she asked.

“No.” Rachel said.

“What’s wro…?” Sarah started.

Rachel cut her off, “No Sarah, you don’t get to hear all of my struggles and you don’t tell me about yours. I thought we were friends. I thought you trusted me.”

Sarah knew Rachel was telling the truth, but Sarah couldn’t tell her. There was too much at stake. Tears welled up in her eyes, “I am sorry, Rachel.”

Rachel knew that the apology was genuine. “What if she was raped? That would be quite difficult to say.” Rachel thought. Since she didn’t know for sure, she pushed it to the back of her mind. Sarah walked off and Rachel went back to her to the dorm to cook something.

For the next few days, prayer felt like a battle. She knew what she needed to do but she didn’t desire or believe it. For the first time in months, this was the most she had struggled spiritually and emotionally. She went to a bible study that week. The church was kind in sending a bus to the campus every time services were held. The church was on the series of the Tabernacle. That day, the focus was on the Mercy Seat. It was only at the end of the study when the Pastor asked everyone to pray that Rachel made the connection. There was a question on her conscience, “Where is your mercy Rachel?” She has never experienced anything more piercing and gut-wrenching.

She couldn’t fight anymore, and, at that moment, she lifted her hands, with tears sliding down her cheeks, she said, “Jesus, I am letting this go.” She let out a breath she didn’t know she was holding. She experienced a feeling still that something was still not surrendered. She then asked God to show her and He responded, “Sarah.” At the sound of her name, all the hurt and pain she felt the other day came back. She heard God say, “Yes, you need to let go of that too.” She didn’t say anything this time, but she knew her heart shifted.

On her way home on the bus, she called the number for Devon Dixon and made plans to meet up on Saturday. She texted Mark too, brought him up to speed and asked if he and one of his friends could accompany her. Mark accepted speedily and he reached out to Adrian. After their conversation, she rested her head on the glass and said, “What am I going to do about Sarah?” She didn’t get an answer but decided just stopping by would suffice. When she arrived on campus, she headed straight for her dorm. The lounge was unusually quiet and only the sound of pieces of litter being moved by the breeze could be heard.

Walking up the staircase, she pushed away every desire to turn back. Here she was again at the door of room 203. The place where she saw parts of Sarah, she never knew existed. She said a little prayer for her nerves and then knocked.

Sarah opened the door; Rachel could see she was surprised but not excited to see her. She let her in any way. She used a baby pink Aeropostale sweater to cover her white nightgown. She started, “Is there something I can help you with? I was just going to bed.” Rachel replied timidly, “I was just stopping by to check on you.”

“Oh.” that was all Sarah could say, she wasn’t expecting that. She quickly regained her composure and said, “Thank you, I am okay.”

Rachel’s eyes wandered to the sleeve that she knew was covering the wounds. Sarah began to move the arm nervously.

Rachel remarked, “Good to know,” and started for the door. Whilst reaching out for the bronze handle, she felt a nudge from God to share the dream with Sarah.

She turned slowly and looked at Sarah square in the eyes.

“I had a dream,” she said.

Sarah reluctantly said, “Go on,” and sat on the chair.

Rachel described the setting and Sarah’s chest immediately started rising and falling at a faster pace. Rachel went on to talk about how the man was abusing the girl, the cries and pleadings she made, the pushes she attempted.

Sarah got up and whispered stop, but Rachel didn’t hear.

She went on to say, “The woman I saw was you.”

Sarah held on to the back of the chair nearby for support.

Rachel then asked, “Is this so Sarah?”

Sarah shook her head, not trusting her voice.

Rachel stepped closer, “Are you lying to me?”

She didn’t move.

Rachel called out, “Sarah.” She didn’t answer the first time but responded after the third time.

Sarah turned around, her eyes were poufy, and her nose looked red, not to mention the river of tears dripping from her chin.

Rachel whispered, “It’s okay, I won’t judge you, or tell anybody.”

She said, “Yes Rachel, I was, I was, I…”

Rachel didn’t wait. She flew over to her friend and held her hand. She wasn’t sure she would accept a hug.

“Do you know who did it?” Rachel asked.

“Yes,” Sarah admitted.

Forgiveness

  1. to stop feeling anger toward (someone who has done something wrong
  2. to stop blaming (someone)
  3. to stop feeling anger about (something)
  4. to stop requiring payment of (money that is owed)

Out of all the definitions Merriam Webster’s dictionary gave, I particularly like number 4. When we forgive, we stop seeking any justice or retribution. Is our God not a God of Justice? Does he not destroy the wicked and save the righteous? Oh yes! He is justice personified.

Psalm 9:7-9

But the Lord reigns forever,

executing judgment from his throne.

He will judge the world with justice

and rule the nations with fairness.

The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed,

a refuge in times of trouble.

Isaiah 5:16

But the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will be exalted by his justice.

The holiness of God will be displayed by his righteousness.

Who has the Right to Cast Judgment?

Judgment here denoting condemnation, punishment, not deciphering right and wrong. A righteous man can do that; 1 Corinthians 2:15: Those who are spiritual can evaluate (judgeth) all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others. This evaluation should not come from mere feelings or opinions but the Word of God. Therefore, calling out sin is not judgment, it’s truth.

When people do us wrong, the judgment does not rest in us.

Romans 12:19

Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,

“I will take revenge;

I will pay them back,”[a]

says the Lord.

How does God administer Judgement?

I would like to focus on two ways in which he does this. Namely, the cross and hell.

The Cross

All of us have sinned, done evil and deserved judgment. We are liars if we say we have never sinned. What makes a sin against us worst than us sinning against God and hurting others? Nothing but selfishness. God in His foreknowledge, He knew that His wrath must be satisfied but, He needed to express His love. Justice and love met that day on the cross. His wrath was poured out on the One who didn’t deserve it, for people who did. If our offenders surrender to God, their sin would be dealt with at the cross.

Romans 3:25-26

God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past,

For he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he makes sinners right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.

Hell

Unrepentant people will be punished in hell, that’s the truth. This should never come as a joy to us, if it does, we don’t understand what hell will be like. If you someone has offended you and has not found Christ, I beg that you pray for them earnestly. The present hurt is way lesser in value than an eternity of torment. You can find out more here.

Rev. 21:8

“But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

Conclusion

Have you forgiven all your offenders? This week, how can you reach out to someone who has hurt you? How can you reconcile with someone who you have hurt? I pray we will take these things seriously because if we don’t forgive, we won’t be forgiven. What a sad thing it would be if we end up in hell with the unrepentant people we have not forgiven.

What’s Next?

Sarah was raped, but by whom?! Of course I want to hear your predictions ! How will the meeting of Rachel and her father unfold? All this and more next Friday at 12 pm. Missed last week’s post? Here it is! Remember you are precious!