Blood and Water

Red swirling tails overtaking the ripples of clear water. Ribbons of crimson twirling quietly, in this silent moment. A secret flood, a hushed wave, a hidden current rolling smoothly beneath the surface. All by herself, she watches the scarlet dance. Entranced by the simple beauty in the water. Hypnotized by the simple horror of the blood.

She knows she should cry, it would be the right thing to do. But, not just yet. The grief and pain will overtake her soon enough. No, for now she just has to watch. She won’t let her eyes drift away from the blood and the water.

A sharp unfamiliar memory stabs her in the gut as she watched another rosy curl unfold. She has been here before. Watching, waiting, wondering. Suddenly the cigarette smells and pounding music of the past colored her vision, remembering an earlier time. A younger, more confident, just as confused little girl sat here once before. Spellbound by the red ripples. Relieved to see the blood and the water.

Replaying the same terrible dream. Numb in the moment, blank future ahead. Blinded by the death that poured from her own body. She once thought that suffering could be solved by a little pill. And so, once upon a time, she took that pill. Seven weeks after an impulsive hook-up. Seven weeks after her first child was conceived.

She has been here before. Peering deep into that tiny sea of water and blood. Then, impatiently watching, waiting, wondering. Then, tired of studying every red swirl. Then, vomiting, cramping, bleeding. Ready to return to the unexamined life on the other side of her bathroom door. Searching desperately for that clot to freedom drowned in the water.

But tonight, she now felt a pain deeper than just the excruciating contractions. It radiated from her side deep into her stomach, piercing her heart, so much that it was hard to breathe. Those little tiny chunks in the ruddy water resembled someone that she tried to forget so many years ago. Entombed tonight by her own dead flesh, she remembered that a tiny un-lived life lay stilled under the surface of this water.

I wonder if anyone cares that someone died here tonight, she whispered in her mind. Regret for her foolish choices. Rage for her naïve hopes in a beautiful future. Waves of uncontrollable sobs intermittently were hushed with a hypnotized silence. One moment of hopes and dreams, one moment of desperate anger. Why did this happen? It doesn’t matter. I wanted to love a baby. I don’t deserve to be happy. Back and forth, her mind screamed and condemned and cried to a silent, distant God. Wrestling with both the horrific sins of her own hands and the dreadful circumstances inflicted on her, she had no answers. Poured out. Dried up. Tired.

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death.” (Psalm 22:1-2, 14-15)

Too many bleak nights, unspoken and hidden away, consume us. Swirling pools of death hypnotize, fascinate, and make us sick. Behind the locked door of the dirty bathroom, bitter poison rivers uncontrollably flow. And we can’t leave. There is no escape from our torrent of unrighteousness, there is no avoidance of the torture that will find us. One night we all will find ourselves cowering on our knees, only to stare at the toilet. Grieving in the blood and water.

I wonder if you know how many of us are here. Whispering away the shame, flushing away the unformed future. One moment of hopes and dreams, one moment of desperate anger. Why does this happen? It doesn’t matter. We have no answer. Poured out. Dried up. Tired.

A particularly sorrowful night, years and years ago, a soldier watched a crimson stream running down a bruised and bludgeoned thigh. Piercing his spear into the exposed rib of the King of the Jews, a quiet current of blood and water flowed from the Son of God. Killed for no reason, terminated by the desires of the proud and selfish. The Word of God veiled in flesh allowed himself to be pinned to a shameful cross. The beloved son gave himself up to drown in the depths of their sin.

“When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water.” (John 19:30, 34)

I wonder if anyone knows that the Son of God died here tonight, he whispered in his mind. Why did it happen this way? Is this the action of an Almighty God? He had no answer. Poured out. Dried up. Dead.

Bloody and unbreathing, this One broke from this silent tomb. He stole the blood from God’s wrath and named it life. He took in the suffocating water and made it give birth. Boldly dominating the realm of death, now possessing the hazy visions dripping with sorrows of the night, replacing the sobbing with his voice sparkling clear in the morning sun. Blood and water spill from His perfectly repentant side, streaming through his heartbroken hypocritical church, wash over those of us poured out. Dried up. Tired. With no answers.

Blood and water, where He now speaks life to you.