“It’s a halo brace. You have four screws in your head,” He leaned toward me touching them two at a time and said, “These two in your forehead and one behind each ear. They hold the black ring you see in place and four bars connect the circle to a leather vest. It’s to keep your neck still so the broken bones can fuse.”
Though I had no pain, we called it my “crown of thorns.’”
After wearing it three months, a doctor came into my room and said, “Your x-rays show the bones in your neck are fused so I’m going to take your brace off.” When she loosened the bars and the vest, muscle spasms shot through my neck in searing stabs that felt like heated daggers. She put a cervical collar around my neck but I still had to lay back in my wheelchair to let the headrest support my head.
As the doctor prepared to remove the screws, she assured me it wouldn’t hurt. When she began unscrewing the screw from my behind my right ear, several strands of my hair tangled around it.
Unable to speak, I had difficulty communicating my distress and my hair began tearing from my scalp. When I got the doctor’s attention, she cut the remaining hair.
A young Christian, I couldn’t understand why God had allowed this to happen to me. I had recently accepted His forgiveness for a sinful past and was daily growing stronger in faith. As I sat in tears, God reminded me it was Good Friday.
Traditionally the day Jesus’ Crown of Thorns pierced His brow – mine was removed.
When I see the scars in my forehead, I remember Christ’s sufferings and how He gave me a new life filled with love and joy, grace and blessing. I live for Him wherever I am.
My crown of thorns was insignificant. His Crown of Thorns was my healing.
“Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4-5 NIV).
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