Writing is really quite simple; all you have to do is sit down at your typewriter and open a vein. Red Smith
Open a vein . . . quite simple? I think not. Painful . . . most definitely. Messy . . . usually. In the days of early medicine when people would be under the daze of a high fever, doctors would open their veins to bleed out the “bad blood” so that the person might heal.
Do successful writers open a vein? Do writers who resonate with people bleed out? In doing so, do writers heal? Does the opening of the vein benefit more the writer or the reader?
It seems often that Christians don’t want to bleed. There doesn’t seem to be much blood-letting in the Church these days. Few people speak honestly of hurts and pains. Even fewer people confess their failures or the temptations that they struggle to shake. We put a lot of work into making sure no one knows we bleed. How tacky and weak to open a vein in the Church.
But in private, oh, do we bleed. We gush. Having worked so hard to hide it from others, by the time night makes its appearance we can no longer hold it in. How scary and frightening to bleed alone. To wonder if it will ever stop. To fear that someone will see the stains or that perhaps one time in the light of day you will not be able to stop the flow. And then your secret will be out. You bleed.
Then one Sunday you stand up timidly in your pew piercing the quiet of the sanctuary with your presence. You slowly roll up one your sleeves revealing bloody bandages covering wounds. Without saying a word or meeting a glance, you tear the bandages off and open the vein. You pour out to this community, this gathering of people who have no visible scars or blood stains. When you finish, a young woman stands up in the back and rolls up her sleeve revealing the truth. An older gentlemen stands up behind you, removes his tie and unbuttons his shirt to reveal the bandage across his heart. One by one they stand. They open the vein. In that moment with all of our wounds exposed and our pain gushing from each wound, we see what church should be.
Who will stand and bleed first? What are you bleeding over? How can I and others pray for you? If you are bleeding in your life, I want to assure you that you are not alone. Your Creator is present with you and He loves you like no other has ever loved you. You are safe with Him. You can show Him your wounds. Nothing will scare Him away or disgust Him. He will look upon your wound and will kiss it gently, like a mother kisses a child’s scraped knee. He will embrace you and carry you until you are able to walk again.
Cast all your anxieties on Him because He cares for you. I Peter 5:7