Soul Surgery

The patient had complained of unusual symptoms. Heartache. Unfulfillment. Despair. A nagging ache of hopelessness. Unsure where to turn. He was self medicating, but it wasn’t helping. He was searching for help in all the wrong places. All hope seemed lost.

He heard of the master surgeon. He scheduled an appointment. Curiosity brought me here. He said. I’ve heard it’s a radical surgery, but I want to know more. Tell me about the procedure and recovery time. I’m a busy man, and I don’t have time to be laid up. But I’m desperate for healing.

The patient asked about the cost of the surgery. The wise surgeon looked at him and opened wide his arms. Someone else has already paid the price. For you, this surgery is free.

The surgeon noted on the patient’s chart that there was no prep for the surgery. We see best results to this type of surgery when you come as you are. You are welcome in your current state. There was a large note at the top of the chart:

Come as you are. Do not try to change your current routines before surgery. All adjustments to your care will be made during rehabilitation.

The soul is lying on the operating table. The surgeon opens up the soul. There is a hunt for goodness. Kindness. Love. Peace. Joy. Patience. Truth. Honor. But all that can be found is darkness mixed with hatred and anger. Lust and fear. Dishonesty. Greed. Grudges. Gluttony. Adultery. Addictions. The cords of selfishness are wrapped so tightly around the soul that any good intentions are strangled.

It started slowly at first. Seemingly unnoticeable. A white lie led to a bigger lie. Until now, truth is hard to find. Where once peace and love ruled the heart, now grudges and discord run rampant. 

The surgeon tries desperately to find some noble deed that’s worth saving. But the search is fruitless. Life support can’t support a soulless life. The madness must end. If truth be told, truth hasn’t been told in so long that it’s unrecognizable.

As the soul was laid bare on that table, the surgeon saw that this particular surgery would be long and complicated. It was as if time stood still. But for this surgeon, a minute was as a day. And a day was as a minute. For all intents and purposes, this soul would need a miracle. 

During the procedure, he removes every wrong act and thought from the patient. He wipes out all record of wrongdoing. He cleans up the arteries and increases blood flow. Any tumors or growths are cut away. As the surgeon closes up the incision, he covers up the wound with his own red blood. He will not remember what he has seen in that soul he has made clean.

Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Romans 10:13

The surgeon was later asked if it was possible to find any life in this lifeless soul. Was there any reason to hold out hope for a new beginning? Could this soul be saved if fed a proper diet? If specific life saving disciplines were established, could this soul be fruitful and multiply? Was a miracle possible? Oh. He said. Miracles are my specialty.

Recovery would require discipline. Soul therapy would need to be scheduled on a regular basis. This soul’s eternity was at stake. Healing would take a lifetime.

In the follow up appointment, the patient asked about rehabilitation. What is involved? How long will it take? How many sessions? Can you recommend a good therapist? Where will the therapy sessions be held? Does my insurance cover this part of recovery?

The master surgeon sat down and explained that the rehabilitation would be long and arduous. It would be difficult. At times, painful. But, oh the joy when hurdles have been crossed. When victories have been won. When old lifestyle habits have been conquered. When new disciplines have been set in place.

There is no time limit to the rehabilitation, he continued. It will last a lifetime. You, the patient, play a large role in your own success. But you can’t do it alone. You will need help. You will need others who have survived and are still on the road of recovery to help and guide you. But choose wisely where you seek advice. There will be those who have been through the surgery, but didn’t fulfill the rehabilitation requirements. They will try to lead you astray. They will say that the surgery was a mistake. Don’t listen to them. Then there are others who have never had the surgery. They will be as slippery as snakes with their advice. Run from them with every ounce of strength you can find. Stay close to those who continue to seek rehabilitation. Spend time with them.

You will need to schedule daily appointments with me, the surgeon advised. Please make sure to do this, as it is of utmost importance to your survival. Continue to read the prescription that I wrote for you. It will tell you all about me, but it was written with you in mind. Call me anytime you think of me. I am always available. Do not hesitate to call me at any time of the day or night. I cannot stress enough how important this step is in your healing. Many who have come through the surgery with flying colors fall short in this area. It weakens them and opens them up to unnecessary heartache and trials. Please. Please. Please. Remember that this is most important for your recovery and survival.

This surgeon has seen a lot of souls in his day.  His daily schedule is always full, but he’s willing to perform any surgery at any time. Day or night. He is always on call. He reserves time each day for last minute appointments. He is always available for emergency surgeries. He orchestrates each surgery, but he has a band of helpers. A host of heaven’s armies are at his disposal.  Heavenly angels perform at his bidding.

The surgeon inspects each soul as if it’s his favorite. He opens up the soul and does a thorough inspection. He has seen some souls hardened by abuse and despair. Crusty and misshapen by bad attitudes, grudges, lies, distorted truths, shame and regret. Can those souls be saved? Only the surgeon knows. He is the giver of life. And he is the taker of life. He alone decides the final resting place of the soul. It is a great responsibility. Only fit for a sovereign God.

Waiting Room

He was having surgery.  I was sitting in the waiting room.  Alone.  When you have no children, you don’t have instant companions when you need them most.  With no parents around, I sat alone in the waiting room.  Waiting for the news of the surgery.

Oh.  It wasn’t life-threatening surgery.  It was a repair.  But surgery is surgery, and anything can go wrong when someone’s body is cut open and they’re unconscious.

At different times during the surgery, a friend would stop by to sit with me.  Or check in.  Or chat.  It made the waiting bearable.  After all, I wasn’t familiar with surgery or waiting rooms or hospitals.  I had never spent time in those surroundings.

The phone in the waiting room would ring from time to time.  That was the signal that a family would soon be face to face with the surgeon who had worked on their loved one.  That was the sign they would soon learn their loved one’s fate.  Was the surgery successful?  Are they out of the woods?  What are the next steps?  Will they pull through?  What did you find?  Will it be bad news?

At times, the room was quiet.  People coming and going.  Families getting calls from the surgeon.  Updates and diagnoses.  Sometimes the atmosphere was loud.  Children crying.  The bustling of crowds moving through the hallways.  One family, after hearing the news, knelt down in the public space and prayed.  They prayed out loud for their loved one.  The one who was in a fight for their life.  Perhaps it was a discovery of an incurable disease.  Or a brain that was no longer functioning.  Or a repair that couldn’t be made.  Nevertheless, they knelt right there and prayed.  Prayed to a God who could hear and answer their prayers.  If He chose.  But they had faith.  They placed the outcome of their loved one’s surgery in God’s hands and trusted Him.

When the room was noisy, I was afraid I wouldn’t hear my name called.  I was afraid the loud conversations would cover the sound I was listening for.  I didn’t want to miss the call from my husband’s surgeon.  I wanted to hear the words.  He is fine.  We were able to make the repairs.  He is being moved to recovery.

I have called you by name; you are mine.  When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.  When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.  When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.  Isaiah 43:1-2

Lately, I find myself sitting in another waiting room.  A waiting season.  Waiting for news.  Will I get an interview?  How many interviews do I have to endure?  Will I get a job offer?  How long must I wait to start a new job?

The waiting seems long.  It seems never ending.  I like to hope the end is near.  There are signs that it’s possible.  But one never knows.  One can only hope.  So I wait.  I hope.  I pray.

Sometimes the noise level in this waiting room is quiet.  I didn’t get calls.  No interest.  Would I wait forever?  At times the noise in my head and heart were so loud, that it was just that.  Noise.  Noise from Satan.  Your work life is over.  You’re retired.   You’ll never see another good paycheck.

At times, the noise has a different sound.  Multiple interview requests.  Interview preparations.  Nervousness.  Anxiousness.  A new waiting begins.

Just when I think the wait is almost over, the news comes crashing down.  You weren’t selected.  And the wait continues.

Waiting is difficult.  Doubt creeps in and fills the space where peace had once been.  Confidence becomes clouded with discouragement.  Trust is eroded by waves of fear.  I have to listen for the voice of the One who holds me in his hands.  He hasn’t let go.  He is near.  I must remind myself that He hasn’t forgotten me.  He knows my situation.  He knows I’m waiting.

Oh.  I have visitors in this waiting room.  I have friends who call to check on me.  I have a friend who will send me a text of encouraging scripture every so often.  I know others are praying for me.  I’ve heard their prayers.  I’ve felt their prayers.  Others will email me.  I’m not forgotten.  I’m not alone.  I am simply waiting.  If waiting is simple.

There have been times when I’ve been down on my knees.  Begging God to pull me through this tough time.  To provide what I need.  To show me favor.  To continue working for me in ways that I can’t see.

But in this waiting room, I must sit quietly so I can hear the voice that is calling my name.  The voice of the One who knows my name.  He speaks to me.  Come closer.  I will provide.  You are loved.  I am working for you.  Be not afraid.

So I sit.  And I wait.  I want to hear the voice when my name is called.