The Nerve Was Cut

In the book we’re reading for our bible study, 30 Days to Understanding Your Bible (we’re reading Chapters 20-23 this week for those of you following along) the author shares a story written by a brilliant surgeon in his book Mortal Lessons: Notes on The Art of Surgery.  It is a powerful story, and relates so beautifully with our journey with God.  I wanted to share:

     I stand by the bed where a young woman lies, her face postoperative, her mouth twisted in a palsy, clownish.  A tiny twig of a facial nerve, the one to the muscles in her mouth, has been severed.  She will be thus from now on.  The surgeon had followed with religious fervor the curve of her flesh; I promise you that.  Nevertheless to remove the tumor in her cheek, I had to cut the little nerve.
     Her husband is in the room.  He stands on the opposite side of the bed, and together, they seem to dwell in the evening lamplight.  Isolated from me, private.  Who are they, I ask myself, he and the wry mouth I have made, who gaze at each other, and touch each other generously, greedily?
     The young woman speaks. “Will I always be like this?” she asks.  “Yes,” I say.  “It is because the nerve was cut.”  She nods and is silent.  But the young man smiles. “I like it,” he says.  “It’s kind of cute.”
     All at once I know who he is.  I understand, and I lower my gaze.  One is not bold in an encounter with a god.  Unmindful, he bends to kiss her crooked mouth, and I am so close I can see how he twists his own lips to accommodate hers, to show that the kiss still works.  I remember that the gods appeared in ancient Greece as mortals, and I hold my breath and  let the wonder in.
 

That is the spirit of Jesus.  Man’s link with God had been severed through sin.  And He twisted Himself to accommodate us, and gave us the kiss of eternal life.  But to do so He gave His own life on our behalf.  Jesus.  At the same time, so tender and powerful.  (30 Days to Understanding Your Bible, p. 127, 128)

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