I heard the crack. That crack, that shot haunts my mind. I was fighting on another front. I did not watch you fall, but the news reached me. You had fallen- my friend had fallen. My consciousness withdrew to the back of my mind. “What happened? Cross-bearers never fall. Cross-bearers never fall!*”
When they said it was doubtfire, those acid-laced slugs, I might have been relieved. Even those slugs cannot truly penetrate a Cross-bearer’s bullet vest. Our vests shelter us from any true harm. The enemy continually shouts to us, “Nobody wears that contraption.” Had you been convinced? Did you wear it unbuckled? Were you wearing it at all, my friend?* Where is it now?
Hearing of that burning, bleeding wound in the middle of your chest, my heart ached. “Why? Why did my companion have to receive a blow so severe? Why you, my friend?”
I wondered what, if anything, I should say to you. I thought, ‘How dare you take off your vest? How could you listen to the enemy?’ I ruled that out before I drew the breath to say it. When I saw you, saw you in such condition, I rushed trembling to stand by you. My dread yet tumbles out as, “My sweet friend, my precious friend! How deep is it? How far did it go? Please! Please tell me tell me that it hasn’t truly reached your heart!”
I am a sheltered Cross-bearer. The Commander has spared me such wounds. I will never understand what this wound truly is. I may never receive one so severe. Forgive my naïve ardor as I say, “I wish I could have been there to push you aside.”
I sit by your cot. As you lie silent, I whisper, “The Great Physician is near,* my friend. He salvages the betrayed casualties of the enemy for His troops, this I know from experience. You are not too far gone for Him. Do not distrust Him as you have. Even now, if you yield your dying heart* to Him he will heal you. Though you have fallen by the very ammunition of Hell, He will restore you. No, He will build you into something more beautiful than you could ever have imagined.* I will never understand this pain, but if I do not tell you that my Physician can relieve it, I have never truly been your friend.”
Your eyes are glassy, my friend. Your breathing is slight. If the pain is diminishing, do not think in your hazy state that you are recovering. This will not heal on its own. I fear you will flicker out, smolder a while, then grow cold in permanent darkness, having abandoned your glowing destiny.
My Physician waits at your right hand. He yearns to save you, but He will not force you to rely on Him. Your blank face turns to look at Him. I sit up straight. The motion is as sweet as honey to me, but your silence is as bitter as ash, so they are mixed. While you live, I will take this concoction. It is the price I pay for hope. I will sit at your bedside until something changes. I love you, my friend.
While you breathe, I will hope for you. Please, throw your life into His gentle hands.* I would not trust you to anyone else. He is your hope.
Victory is inevitable.* What do you really have to lose?
NKJV- Verses listed in order.
*Romans 10: 11 “For the scripture says, 'Whoever puts their trust in him will never be put to shame'.”
* Ephesians 6:16 “above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench the fiery darts of the wicked one.
* Psalm 145:17 “The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call upon him in truth.”
* Psalm 43: 18 “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit.”
*Romans 8:18 “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us.”
* Psalm 34:8 “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!”
*John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
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