My waking up is never a sudden event, but more like a thick, sludgy processional to the coffee pot. Despite the density of this particular morning, before my eyelids cooperated with the dawn, a line from Third Day’s rendition of Isaiah 53:5 began to loop through my thoughts.
And by His wounds, by His wounds we are healed…
The echoing music filled the background of my thoughts as I prepared breakfast, a lunchbox, a bank deposit, and myself for the day. It followed me softly while I ran errands and then the volume suddenly increased as I neared my final target, the hair salon. Since I was early, I parked the car and answered the lyrics, “Lord, I know it’s You. But I don’t know why You are singing this to me this morning. I’ve never fully understood it. (And trust me, I have prayed about this truth more times than I can count over the years.) What am I missing?”
I sat quiet and recalled the song as they quoted the scriptures (you can play the video by clicking on the photo):
We are healed by Your sacrifice, And the life that You gave. We are healed for You paid the price, By Your grace we are saved We are saved
He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our sins, The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him. And by His wounds, by His wounds we are healed…
My thoughts began to hover over the wounds that have been in my heart, as well as other people’s that I am praying for constantly: prodigal children, unfaithful spouses, betrayal of close friends, lies and accusations against the ministry, chronic pain, and grief over the loss of loved ones. There is rarely a day that goes by that I don’t speak with someone who is crying inwardly or outwardly.
The lyrics continued and the clock stood still. Then the gentle voice of the Lord came, “Shannon, the scars on your wrists have been a testimony that the scars on My wrists were strong enough to save your life. You were once My prodigal daughter. Did I not cry out the reality of feeling forsaken by God, so that you would never have to? Did I not face temptation to the point of blood so that your temptation would never be that extreme? I even give you doors of escape.”
In every area of life, I stared at as many wounds as I could think of, and then scenes from the life of Jesus or a promise from His Word would flash as a response. Then He whispered, “Come to Me…you are not a physician. Time can help the throb of pain, but it will not heal the soul.” I spent a few minutes beneath gray skies seeking the “Sun of Righteousness (that arises) with healing in His wings” Malachi 4:2 for myself and many others.
After a brief phone call, I grabbed my purse and prayed that the Lord would let me tell someone who needed to hear about My Savior Who bled through life and death to redeem their life from death.
Usually, I go into this salon like an undercover farmer and try to plant seeds wherever I can without being obnoxious. But as I sat in a hair stylist’s high-chair, foil sticking out of my head like a bad antennae, I browsed social media and saw a picture my friend had just posted on Instagram. A field of white cotton. Jesus’ words came, “I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest” John 4:35.
“Are you Shannon?” A petite voice snapped me out of my phone and I looked up to an adorable young girl in a black leather skirt, leopard print top and sheer sleeves that couldn’t cover up numerous tattoos. I smiled at the possible white field in dark makeup and asked her the story behind the tattoos.
Thirty minutes later, after she heard about a loving Father Who sent a wounded Savior to the cross for her, she begged me how she could know Him for herself and hear His voice. “Please write down where I should start reading in the Bible and anything else you think I need…”