“There’s trouble ahead lads; something big. Pull out the stops!”
Captain Lymphocyte, smart in his white coat and shoes headed the team as the others jumped on board. The heart pumped hard; crimson blood gushed from a precise razor edge laceration almost washing the troops downstream. A young recruit clung to the injured vessel and another grabbed him by the shirt tail and stuck like glue.
“Well done Clotters!” Called the Captain. “Keep ‘em coming. Antibody delegation stand by please.”
Subservience was inherent and fundamental to survival. Only the fittest, most resolute contenders survived the trauma.
Ben crouched in a corner of the bathroom clutching the wound to his forearm. The kitchen knife lay discarded beside him, mission accomplished. Liberation flooded his beleaguered and misguided soul as he scrutinized the, ‘badness,’ squelching through his fingers, red and defiant, splattering the white tiles.
“This’ll show them!” He declared. No-one listened of course. There was no one there.
Captain Lymphocyte had other ideas. He’d travelled these arteries and veins many times before and had learned that his host was deceptively selective in his cutting.
There wasn’t much he could do with his knowledge, being a microscopic cell in an intricate network of blood vessels. Opportunity arose one day when Ben suffered a wicked tooth abscess.
“Infection control to the scene.” He commanded. Sure enough, within minutes the tooth was engulfed by an army of single minded Phagocytes waging all-out war on the nasty little bugs. Task completed, the captain being reasonably close to the area of grey matter, decided to hang around a while to see what made this young man tick.
He didn’t wait long. Neurones, fuelled by anger turned purple with rage. The pressure in Ben’s arteries shot through the ceiling as cells sparked off, triggering an electric storm in the bitterness area before firing across to malice and unforgiving.
The captain immediately ordered the troops to back off. Healing and deep seated fury, an impossible combination, don’t sit well together! A vengeful war between illness and wellness was being waged in Ben’s body and soul.
He was no stranger to tangled, polluted thoughts. Ben knew too well how his flesh soaked in maladjustment. Each new day his entire body screamed in pain with knotted muscles and imagined maladies.
Ben also knew God … once!
The Captain and his antibodies, along with his amazing team of blood clotting agents and tissue repair gang grew weary in their never ending quest to keep Ben healthy. A day came when fatigue and exhaustion overwhelmed, rendering all God given, delicately precise and vital skills defunct.
Ben lay in an intensive care bed, surrounded by monitors, drips and a distraught mother. This cut had proved one too many. The ‘badness’ was beyond being leached out through a cut.
As Ben slipped in and out of insensibility, sounds, hauntingly familiar yet tantalizingly beyond reach began to permeate the subconscious mind. Voices from the past - carefree and jubilant, welcoming and calling Ben’s name, inviting him over to join them.
Muscles twitched around his mouth. Was this some sort of … ‘Near death experience?
‘No way!’ Thought Ben through the dense fog of reasoning. He had no time for airy fairy stuff; wishy washy nebulous accounts without foundation. He drifted off into fitful sleep, soon to be disturbed once more.
“It is well,” … somewhere nearby a choir sang softly, barely audible … “It is well; it is well with my soul.” Ben’s eyelids flickered as familiar words besought his attention.
“When peace like a river attendeth my way,” - and how Ben longed for peace; of mind, body and internal conflict, - “When sorrows like sea billows roll.” Ben struggled to surface as he felt his hand being gently tugged. The singing increased in volume.
“Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate …
AND HAS SHED HIS OWN BLOOD FOR MY SOUL.’
Eyes wide open, Ben scanned the empty room. He saw no -one and heard nothing, but knew God’s unquestionable and tangible presence abiding and healing within.
The captain surfaced briefly, and with a grateful sigh of acknowledgement, turned over and fell into a deep sleep!
Lymphocytes, phagocytes and antibodies … all specialised cells forming part of the body’s complex immune system.
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