When a medical examination was needed we figured having a passport was more handy than an insurance card. Before we could cross to the other side customs had to check us for any signs of sickness or infirmity. Though they couldn’t be the ones to medically treat us they could at least clue us in on what might be wrong. This was practical as a cheap examination while the doctor’s office had become so expensive. The other side, the hotel, the casinos, attracted all types of low and ailing people to cross over, and the physicians end up gaining more experience filtering through the dregs of humanity there than these suburban offices; all in hopes that once the people are cleared to enter they’ll fork over tons of cash to the slot machines and card tables. Though we had no intention of gambling they had to treat us all the same.
She was before me in going up on the bridge. The bumps and rashes on her skin had been a concern for a couple years. We even began thinking perhaps we’ve waited too long in coming. But as the doctor and her assistant searched her for any malady she only became more beautiful beneath the lights. Her skin was shining and hair was let down. They dressed her with colorful clothes and even tucked a Hawaiian flower into her braids as she smiled at me while I waited next in line.
My inspection didn’t fair so well. The doctor combed through my hair and found tiny red spots all across my scalp. My right ear had become dislodged and had warped the ear canal so I had lost most of my hearing on that side. I had gained weight. My cholesterol was too high. She explained stress and anxiety had brought me to this state and relaxing would do little good as the damage had already been done. Unfortunately, the medications required were still in development and might end up being even more dangerous to my health. As the diagnosis sunk in Paige embraced me and I overheard the doctor say to her nurses she was ready to start treating real human beings again.
Across the bridge I didn’t have much hope. It’s not as if I was dying but the news hit me hard and I felt like giving up. With the little cash we had leftover I told her we should just take it into the casino and bet it all, but Paige didn’t want to. Looking in from the lobby the very first video machine I saw had players becoming mice and were crawling through a maze searching for crumbs. Though it seemed like such a small thing, really only a pocketful of cash, I didn’t want to push something on her that might end up making her stumble. We took what little strength we had left and decided to go get something to eat.
It was in the supermarket when my disease began overtaking me. I began having flashbacks of when I was a teenager and hanging out with other teenagers. We were laughing and talking but were all sitting in darkness and I longed to escape. I crashed into the shelves as Paige tried holding me up. My right arm and leg were convulsing wildly and knocked all the food off the shelves sending cans rolling across the floor. I realized there was nothing in me that was good. Most of the foods in the place were just snacks and junk food. I had so little to offer; yet I felt Him reaching to me. The fats and sugars were being shaken from my body in the process, and as the bags of Doritos and pretzels were lifted light began pouring in and I was being brought to well-being. My right ear was being adjusted and sounds came flowing in unhindered. My scalp was being tempered and felt less itchy, my heart was pumping cleaner.
I saw Him there. He was reaching for something on the shelf. I only saw by the reflection of the plastic packaging and I couldn’t see clearly, but all my soul cried out in wanting to produce some good food for Him to take; then He took it. Immediately afterwards I asked in my prayer what was it, what was it Lord that I may strengthen that part of myself and prune the rest away? In that moment my memory was awakened to just that afternoon. Paige and I were going for a walk with Landon and we were in the open field behind the elementary school. I was trying to figure out a way to tell her softly but was having a difficult time. The voices were saying it was unnecessary, that it only had to be between God and me, and telling her would only end up hurting. But my guilt wouldn’t let me hide and I was determined to walk in the light.
“I can’t believe the stuff they’re showing on Youtube these days,” I said.
“Oh, yea? Did you report it?”
“No. I was too embarrassed I had watched it.” My eyes were to the ground. I was still embarrassed.
“Did you turn it off when you realized?”
“I didn’t.” My soul was in tears. “I’m sorry.”
“It’s okay,” she smiled, and we embraced, “Thank you for being honest with me. I forgive you.” The relief was instantaneous. I hadn’t anticipated it could feel that good and the whole field seemed to be full of wild flowers as we held each other.
I knew then as I regained my strength and was standing up in the grocery store that confession wasn’t just for the sake of my good conscience; God was with us there in the field and He saw the repentance in my heart. It was as good fruit to Him, a small production, and with it He once again gave more life to me.
Copyright 2015 Jason S Cooper Image From https://hdwallpapers.cat/the_last_tree_cut_abinandan_lone_dry_drop_hd-wallpaper-119883/