Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Removing Blood Stains

The cozy sanctuary of this morning's Bible study was interrupted by my father opening the door. His serious eyes searched for mine as he beckoned me to come.

"It's Amelia. She's hurt herself."

A mommy's heart sinks at those words.

Then I learned the facts: the twins had sneakily gone cabinet shopping while Oma took a quick phone call. Butter-fingered Emerson then let an unopened jar of jelly drop two feet onto Amelia's hand. And now her finger was cut, bleeding, and swelling.

In seconds, I had gone from the quiet serenity of understanding God's word with my ladies to the anxiousness of not knowing how serious my daughter's condition was.

The adrenaline of a mother called into action surged through me. Hazard lights flashing, I drove as fast as I thought wouldn't get me killed on empty back country roads. Visions of stitches and surgery roared through my head as I spun into the gravel drive, seat belt off before the van was even in park.

And there she sat on the rug with Oma--not crying, not even caring that she was bleeding on everything. Her shoes, her outfit, her cheek--smeared with blood.

So much blood from such a small finger--steadily painting everything it touched with deep crimson drops.

At the pediatrician's office, the lady doctor smashed the finger again, making it bleed all the more. Her instructions: watch for increased swelling and come back in tomorrow to drill a hole in the nail if it is worse.

In the meantime, no band aids because she might swallow them and choke. Just let it bleed and keep it clean with antibacterial soap and ointment. Easy instructions from someone not having to clean up the bloody mess.

Two pair of shoes, two outfits, bedclothes and blanket, my shirt, Emerson's clothes, the linoleum tile, the stuffed rocking dog--and that's just to name a few on my list to clean. At one point this afternoon after Amelia tripped and caught herself with her hurt hand, I held her crying form as blood dripped down my neck.

I've washed my hands until they're dry and begging for a drink of lotion. But they still have that metallic smell.

As I stood at the washer to scrub the blood stains out of my shirt this evening, my mind went back to Mary. I know we remember Jesus' birth this time of year, but the events of today have reminded me of the cross, of the sacrificial blood Jesus shed.

Scripture tells us Mary stood beneath that cross. As the blood streamed down my Savior's body and gravity brought the drops to the foot of the cross, it's likely her clothes were stained with that precious blood. In her poverty, she probably just couldn't throw those clothes away.

It's not found in Scripture, but I still wonder if she stood, like me, scrubbing the life blood of her child from her garments.

My mother's heart pains with that thought. And it wonders.


  1. I appreciate the wondering here. It touches me.

    (Praying for quick healing, no drilling!)

  2. Thanks Lyla--no drilling today. It's starting to scab over. Pray it doesn't get infected. Her little finger is just so swollen and concerned mommy.

  3. Oh, my goodness! What a beautiful depiction and thought toward the cross and His blood! Hope all is well. Keep us posted.

  4. Jennifer, I'm back in my hometown after spending ten days or so in Manila. I'm visiting a few blog friends this afternoon, and yours is the first one on my list.

    The posts I have read have ranged from a leisurely nature's walk, to teaching a child the proper way to say thanks, taking pictures with a heart like Mary... and then this latest one, your thoughtful reflection on the bloodstains on Mary's dress.

    Mary the mother is Jesus is one of my three most favorite women (the two others being Mary Magdalene and Mary of Bethany!) in the Bible.

    I have never thought of Mary having to deal with her son's bloodstains. How you felt about Amelia's cut fingers is not strange to me. My three children have had their own bloody episodes. And in their growing up years. their wounds are not often physical, but emotional. I bleed with them as they learn to cope with life's hurts. How often I had wished that I could change places with them when such events take place in their lives.

    I am sure Mary must have felt the same way. How beautiful Mary's example is to us mothers. Her quiet and gentle heart...

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. The journey is the destination. How true this is. The building of our character takes place while we are actually living out our lives, on the job training for heaven! Pondering, treasuring valuable lessons in our hearts, accepting, not complaining, not grumbling, not demanding... learning to be thankful.

    A lifetime is not enough for all the lessons heaven wants us learn!

    Thank you for sharing what you are learning with us. I was a school principal for 18 years before I retired... and teaching is one of my passions. But I am also a passionate learner. I can see that in you too. After all, we have nothing to teach unless we first learn it ourselves.

    Blessings on your day, dear friend. I hope Amelia's fingers will heal beautifully...and that the scars will always remind you of what the Father has taught you through that bloody episode.

    (By the way, I've looked up what andouille gumbo is, just for curiosity. I might try to make it one of these days!)


  5. My heart aches with you as I read your posts. You have such a mama's heart. So tender. So nurturing.

    I can't imagine what it must've been like trying to keep infection from setting in as well as try to contain the blood.

    I'll give you a tip--if you don't already know. Peroxide works GREAT on removing blood from fabrics and clothing.

  6. Well there's a thought. What DID Mary do with with the blood-stained clothing? To her, that blood represented so much more than heartache. It was shed for the remission of sins, every drop precious.

    Great post, and I pray your daughter's owie heals up quickly!

  7. Thanks ladies for your heartfelt comments. Amelia is on the mend. Her finger is still swollen, but not bleeding and the bright pink of infection is receding, thank God.

    And Lidj--you haven't lived till you have genuine andouille gumbo! If you're ever in Louisiana in America, you are always welcome in my home! I'll cook lots of Cajun treasures for you.