Quickly I picked myself up from the sidewalk and assessed the damage. The sidewalk was fine except for the crack I just tripped over. I, however, was bleeding profusely from my chin and lower lip. Plus my right arm was crooked and my lower jaw was no longer aligned with its upper counterpart.
Fast forward to the emergency room. The bleeding had stopped, but I still looked frightful. My clothes and white walking shoes were stained with blood and my lip was swelling. When will it be our turn? my husband and I wondered out loud several times.
Finally, my name was called and we were escorted to an examining room. We welcomed the relative quiet of this cubicle and the attentiveness of the physician’s assistant and nurse. Calmly they stitched the wounds on my chin and lip. Gently they delivered me to the technicians who did the x-rays and CAT scans. And with just the right measure of sympathy, they gave us the results and told us what we needed to do and who we needed to see the next day. And so with prescriptions for pain meds in hand, my husband and I stood up to leave.
Wait! Wait just a minute! Sit back down! the nurse instructed us as she picked up a towel and basin and went to the sink for water.
Now what? my husband and I both looked at each other, wondering. But we did as we were told.
Balancing the basin in both hands, she walked over to me and knelt at my feet. Slowly, methodically, she began to cleanse my shoes of blood. Slowly they became white again, while the water became red.
My eyes welled up with tears.
We are all twice fallen. We are all born into sin. We cannot escape or deny it. And because we are born into sin, we will think sinful thoughts and commit sinful acts. But at some point, Jesus calls out to us, Wait! Wait just a minute! Then He invites us to sit down. And when we do, He’ll fill a basin with water, kneel at our feet, and with His own garment, He’ll wash us clean, while His own hands and clothes become stained with our blood, our sins.
Yes, we are all twice fallen. But with Jesus there is no waiting in crowded, noisy emergency rooms. Come unto me, He calls (Matt. 11:28, NIV). And when we turn in the direction of His voice, there He stands, holding a basin and a towel, ready and longing to make us clean with His blood.