Father in heaven, I pray these words You have given me reach those You want to reach, including myself. In Jesus name, Amen.
I hope you all are comfortable here in your seat at the table. Let’s lift our forks and dig in, shall we?
I would like to take you back in time, about thirty-five years or so. I was in seventh grade. (yeesh!)
It was a normal school day and nothing out of the ordinary had happened… yet.
I was walking the halls with my friends and probably waiting for lunch and recess. All of a sudden, here comes my mother walking down the hall towards me. That’s almost never a good thing, to have your parent show up at school in the middle of the day. Not unless they were bringing you an arm full of balloons and a big tray of cupcakes all the while singing happy birthday with the marching band behind them.
But alas, this was not the case since my birthday is in October and this was in the spring.
I asked my mom what she was doing there and she replied that she was picking me up early because something had happened. Immediately I became alarmed. Stepping away from my friends and closer to my mom, I asked with panic what had happened.
“Your dad has had an accident.” she said.
The statement hung there for a moment as my mind flashed on a girl named Julie, who earlier in the year had gotten picked up from school by her family because her dad had had an accident.
She didn’t return to school for some time as I’m sure her grief was overwhelming after the funeral.
“What happened?” I asked with a trembling voice.
She explained the whole story as we drove to the hospital. I will share it with you here…
My father worked in the shop in a particular department and while walking through another, he noticed a machine was making a lot of noise and didn’t sound right. Walking over to the machine he tried to assess the situation and how he could fix it. Even though this wasn’t his normal department, he knew how these machines were supposed to operate.
This hunk of metal was designed to melt plastic for certain car parts. It had been shimmying and jolting because the temperature was more then two times hotter then it was supposed to be. He began trying to get the temperature lowered. It seemed as though the machine didn’t appreciate being told what to do.
After the explosion, many people rushed to my father who was now lying on the floor writhing in pain. Unsure of how much of his face was covered in the 700 degree plastic, all anyone knew to do while waiting for the ambulance was to put cold towels on his face to try and stop some of the pain and burning.
Walking into the hospital, I was frightened at what my dad would look like with such a severe burn to his face. I never saw his face after the burn as he was wrapped pretty tightly from his hair line down to his collar bone. He was in the hospital for a little over three weeks. It was difficult for him to eat or brush his teeth. The plastic had burned all the way through his cheek and had damage to the inside of his mouth. Being a man and prone to whiskers growing, he had to shave over the highly sensitive area and that was always painful. I struggled to watch my dad go through all of this, but I was thankful I could visit him in the hospital and not the cemetery. My mind often went to Julie.
The weeks and months past and my dad slowly made progress. It was now time for surgeries to begin. He had some procedures already to surgically remove the melted plastic and small pieces of shrapnel that had been embedded in his face. Now it was time for skin grafts.
They would take skin from his hip and graft it to his face. We joked that we could call him “butt face” now and not get in trouble! Ha.
The idea, of course, was for the skin to eventually fuse together forming a seamless unification over time. It was successful as we are now more than three decades down the road and no one can tell he had been so badly burned. The skin didn’t argue about being grafted on, it simply obeyed and took on the cells of the skin that was naturally there.
The seems connected to each other so tightly that you could no longer tell what was once skin from somewhere else and what was already on his face.
This is how I want my relationship with Jesus to be!
I want to be so tightly connected to Him that no one can tell where He leaves off and I begin. Or where I had begun and He took over.
Romans 11:19 “Then you will say, ‘branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.'”
There are many who once believed in God but then chose to go their own way. Then there are those who didn’t know God but then came to know Him. For those who reject Him, it’s like that skin that got burned, it no longer wanted to adhere to my dads face. It needed to have new skin grafted on. That skin held firm and clung to my dads face.
I need a grafting too. I need the things of my life that don’t want to adhere to Jesus to be removed and new things to be added. This will make it impossible for anyone (including myself) to tell where I leave off and Jesus begins. I want such a tight relationship with Him that my seems cannot even be detected even by me.
My desire is to have all of Jesus grafted onto all of me. I don’t even want anymore of my own skin. I want His only.
Oh Father let my life be a grafting of You onto me. Let it not be seen where You leave off and I begin.
Is this your prayer too?
If I hadn’t told you this story and you met my dad… you would never have known what happened. I want whoever I introduce to my heavenly Father to never be able to tell where He leaves off and I begin. Shall we all keep this in our prayers?