not just my nerves

But what if I fail of my purpose here? It is but to keep the nerves at strain,
to dry one’s eyes and laugh at a fall, and baffled, get up and begin again.

Robert Browning

(the remains of fallen acorns / Julie Cook / 2016)

As I continue dealing with this nerve pain business from these ruptured discs of mine…
waiting for the nerve block to do something…
as they said it could be up to a week…
that being today…as I am not exactly holding my breath…
I can’t help but think about the whole business of nerves…
of which is the craziest thing…

The pain is like a searing burning rawness.
With just the slightest touch from clothes or whatever causing severe pain…
It’s as if the skin has been flayed open and something or someone is sadisticaly rubbing
or sawing into the raw vulnerable flesh.
But when I look, thinking surely the skin will be red, angry and swollen,
with signs of grave irritation…
I am met with perfectly intact and non inflamed skin.

It’s crazy that things can look so very normal yet the slightest touch of mere cloth
can send excruciating waves of irritation…

Those who have limbs amputated report that there is often lingering ghost pain associated
with the now missing limb—that the brain and the now cut off nerves still register
that the limb remains…

These bodies of ours are indeed resilient yet fragile all at the same time…

And all of this nerve business takes me back to something I read quite sometime ago
regarding the Crucifixion.
In particular the crowning of the thorns.

Paul Badde is a German journalist who wrote for the paper Der Spiegel.
I actually became acquainted with his work after reading a book he’d written,
The Face of God.
Badde is an ardent believer in the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin as well as the
burial face cloth of Jesus, known as the Veil of Manoppello or the Veil of Veronica.

Now it matters not whether you agree or you don’t with the idea of these cloths being
the actual burial cloths of Jesus…
That is not the issue here at hand…
No debate as to is it or isn’t it–
although I do tend to lean toward the line of the plausible…
that is not our issue.

Nerves are the issue and it is to nerves that took my mind back to reading
Mr. Badde’s books…

Mr Badde describes in detail how the blood accumulated on the cloths and why the patterns
are as they are…
From the crown of the head all the way down to the heels of the feet.
All with a very in-depth and forensic type of explanation.
Beginning with the effects that the cap of thrones would have had on a person who was
unfortunate enough to have had such jammed upon their head.

At the time that I read Mr. Badde’s as well as other explanations for the bodily
damage administered first by flagellation, beatings, whippings, hittings, punctures, nails
and then ultimately a crucifixion…
I have had to actually stop reading, putting down the particular book or article
as the description was so graphic and stomach turning.

It’s one thing to hear that ‘Jesus was crucified,’
it’s something else entirely when you read a forensic detail of what
actually takes place in and to the body of the one being crucified.

The following is a short explanation of the crowning of thorns as offered by
Dr. Frederick T. Zugibe
Dr. Zugibe is an expert in forensic pathology and was the Chief Medical Officer of
Rockwood County, New York, from 1969 to 2003.
He is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.
For the past twenty years,
he has been the President of the Association of Scientists and Scholars International
for the Shroud of Turin.

“The nerve supply for pain perception to the head region is distributed by branches of two major nerves: the trigeminal nerve, which essentially supplies the front half of the head, and the greater occipital branch, which supplies the back half of the head.” 6 These two nerves enervate all areas of the head and face.
The trigeminal nerve, also known as the fifth cranial nerve, runs through the face, eyes,
nose, mouth, and jaws. Irritation of this nerve by the crown of thorns would have
caused a condition called trigeminal neuralgia or tic douloureux.
This condition causes severe facial pain that may be triggered by light touch,
swallowing, eating, talking, temperature changes, and exposure to wind.
Stabbing pain radiates around the eyes, over the forehead, the upper lip, nose,
cheek, the side of the tongue and the lower lip. Spasmodic episodes of stabbing,
lancinating, and explosive pain are often more agonizing during times of fatigue or tension.
It is said to be the worst pain that anyone can experience.

As the soldiers struck Jesus on His head with reeds,
He would have felt excruciating pains across His face and deep into His ears,
much like sensations from a hot poker or electric shock.
These pains would have been felt all the way to Calvary and while on the Cross.
As He walked and fell, as He was pushed and shoved, as He moved any part of His face,
and as the slightest breeze touched His face, new waves of intense pain would have been triggered.
The pain would have intensified His state of traumatic shock.
The thorns would have cut into the large supply of blood vessels in the head area.
Jesus would have bled profusely, contributing to increasing hypovolemic shock.
He would have been growing increasingly weak and light-headed.
As well, He would have bouts of vomiting, shortness of breath,
and unsteadiness as hypovolemic and traumatic shock intensified.

So now, through a very small window, I can slightly to begin to wrap my brain around
some semblance of understanding of that initial nerve pain Jesus endured as a cap comprised of
5cm long thorns was shoved down upon his head…
puncturing the scalp, the forehead and temple while penetrating deeply into those
precious precarious nerves…

Just as those who battle diabetic nerve pain…
or any other sort of nerve condition or trauma…can begin to grasp a portion of the magnitude
of pain…endured by one for all

Doesn’t make things any better, any more tolerable nor even comforting…
but in the slightest sense, there is a deeper knowledge when reading… Jesus suffered…

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial,
for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life,
which God has promised to those who love him.
James 1:12

12 comments on “not just my nerves

  1. Elihu says:

    I’m so thankful for this post. Too often we think of the crucifixion in such a theoretical way, not actually meditating on the very real and very excruciating pain that Jesus suffered. He wasn’t just tired from lugging that heavy cross, nor did He just receive a slap on the wrist from the soldiers…

  2. KIA says:

    Have you tried prayer for your pain and why do you think it’s hasn’t worked to a levitate it?

    • ahh my all knowing friend, you should know then that I do pray…earnestly…and I have lived, loved and lost long enough on this earth to know that not all healings are created equal…for some are indeed instantaneous and miraculous…some evolve over time…some are not to be seen within our lifetime…some are physical, some are emotional, some are spiritual…some are intended for others rather than ourselves…for ours is a vast fellowship of humanity…and each of our lives are much farther reaching then we can ever comprehend…so what may be hoped for and prayed for…for ourselves, may be very much intended for another…for in this vast life…our vision is but limited and faulty at best…all I know is that I pray, that The Omnipotent Creator knows before I even ask and He answers…yet the timing is indeed His…

      • KIA says:

        Im Not so all knowing anymore I’m afraid. I wish prayer worked as the nt promised but alas, it doesnt. Therefore we make excuses for why it doesn’t. Used to be a past time of mine when I counseled others who came to me for biblical teaching and advice. Now I’m just recovering know it all. I hope you’re feeling better

      • getting there very slowly—and for me, the prayers do work…just not always as I would necessarily prefer at that present time…but work they have….so no excuses…just thankfulness

  3. David says:

    I watched The Passion of the Christ when it was released in a very silent cinema. Add the visual experience to what you have written above and it seems even more incredible that the Son of God was prepared to suffer so much because of His love for us.

  4. Molly G says:

    Hi Julie, Thank you so much for sharing this. It definitely opens my eyes up to see the crucifixion in a new light. I am also very sorry to hear that you are in so much pain. I will pray that He keeps you very close in this time ❤

  5. First of all your post was stellar as usual. Secondly yes what Jesus went through o that cross is beyond any suffering any of us have endured. And as to your follower who says he/she has given up on prayers, prayer does work. It just doesn’t always produce the effects we may be looking for. For when we ask, we must remember it’s God’s will that must be done and not ours and it is always done in His time not ours. And I not guessing about this, I’ve seen prayers answered in my own life time and time again, and when some weren’t answered it was because the Lord deemed the request as not what was best. Nearly 4 years ago, I had a ischemic stroke that many don’t survive and of those that do many don’t walk away almost completely unscathed. God’s hand was all over that happening in my life, even the people at the hospital all came to say goodbye when I left and expressed the fact that I was indeed very blessed. Not only that but it happened out here in Natalieworld and when I stood to go in the house and get James, I fell and couldn’t get up. I could have easily laid there and died before he’d have found me. But eventually it was like an angle helped push me up to my feet and I managed to walk into the main house to get James. And when one is having a stroke, time is always of the essence. There have been many times in my life when God has stepped in even when I wasn’t praying. And with my grandson, Alex, as bad as the situation is, again the Lord’s hand has been over him and with him throughout the ordeal. So yes, yes, yes, prayer works. Love and hugs, Natalie 🙂 ❤

  6. SLIMJIM says:

    I just prayed for your pain sister.

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