“The plowers plowed on my back; they made their furrows long.” (Psalm 129:3)
The sun is warm today as Spring welcomes her to this place. She is in her mid-sixties and her hair is now highlighted with the color of her youth. Her hands are thin, but elegant and graceful. Her walk is slow and shoulders bent; her voice soft not often heard. Her emotional life is full of variance; like a topographical map showing steep ascents with joy at the crests, plains of monotony as they are walked, and sheer descents when she finds herself falling.
She is sitting on a park bench now and her thoughts are unmoved, like the lake she has set beside. As she looks down, an orange ladybug with two black spots on each wing lands on her thigh; turns one direction, then another, and flies away. She smiles at the creatures apparent bewilderment. She recalls feeling bewilderment; times when she too, found herself turning one direction then another, only to find herself flying in an unknown direction and carried by the winds of chance. But that was then and she pushes the memory back to its shelf in her mind. Now she is in her place of seclusion, she has found reassurance by being hidden in plain view. She is part of a living scene.
She is calm, not at rest, just still when her landscape is interrupted. A familiar sound that she thought would not bother her, but it does. Perhaps they are a husband and wife; maybe they are lovers searching for what frustrates them, maybe it is both. The couple reminds her of a time she thought gone. Like a dream she recalls having, but does not know what it is about. Both couples, now and then, are bickering. Her back grows tense as if being cut, as if a team of oxen is pulling the blade down the long of her back.
Does her husband from then feel the same when he sees a couple like this? They have have been twenty-five years apart and twenty before that together. Nearly a lifetime of cutting furrows in each other’s back; the plowman plows.
Do they know what they sow? Should I talk to them? Will they listen if I do? The questions trudge through her mind and she begins to feel the furrows again. They seem to run from the base of her neck down between her shoulder blades. Then, she catches her runaway thoughts and her back eases as she settles once again into the painting.
King David had his back plowed. He even plowed the backs of some himself. What did he do when the oxen plowed? He did not hide; instead he went to the Creator of his very being and prayed. “Create in me a clean heart O God and renew a right spirit in me.” (Psalm 51:10)
I know another who had His back plowed. Furrows cut deep by a whip in a soldier’s hand. Still more lines that scarred by the words of those who despised Him. Both, He loved so much that He let each finish their bitter task so that He could plow His own field of grace.
God wants to heal the furrows cut long into your memory. He wants to heal them for you that you might tell another of His healing love. The plow that ran down Jesus’ back made furrows that were meant to bring healing to our own.