Kristi and I were watching one of those "ER" reality shows, where a TV camera crew follows a doctor around.
One patient who visited the ER left a memorable impression.
He was an elderly man complaining of lingering pain in his collarbone area. He had fallen a week or so before, but had not sought medical attention, thinking the pain would just go away. It hadn't, so the man wondered whether he had broken his collarbone.
The doctor felt the area and seemed fairly certain the collarbone was either broken or dislocated, but wanted to see an x-ray to determine for sure what to do.
When he asked the patient about any past medical issues, the only item offered was a stroke some years back.
This answer in particular provided a moment of shock and off-beat comedy when the doctor actually viewed the x-ray. Clearly visible on the x-ray were four distinct, completely intact bullets lodged in various places within this poor man's body.
At some risk of appearing insensitive, the doctor chuckled at this unexpected sight. "Well, I asked if there were any past medical issues, so I guess he didn't think this was any big deal. In all fairness, I didn't ask him specifically whether he had ever been shot four times..."
No explanation was given as to the nature of these wounds, or even how old they were. What is certain is how fortunate this man was to be alive, having sustained such trauma to his body, and apparently without sufficient medical treatment.
It's interesting how this can happen. Something that appears so out of place to an outsider or a newcomer can be just another forgotten part of the landscape to the person who has learned to accommodate it for enough time.
How on earth could a person carry bullets lodged in his body for years, and not bother to mention it to a doctor before an x-ray?
Oh, I don't know...
How could a Christian rarely pray?
How could a Bible gather dust?
How could someone bear a grudge for a lifetime?
How could a married couple live together without intimacy for years on end?
How could a habit become more important than a family?
How could a once-vibrant faith become a time card?
These scenarios are every bit as real as the bullets in that old man's body. And, they are certainly much more common. To anyone on the outside looking in, the bullet is plain to see, glaring back boldly from the x-ray, even if the wounded soul has made peace with it, or has forgotten its presence altogether.
What wounds do you carry?
What bullets are still lodged in your soul?
Why carry these things, when Jesus is so near?