Dried Blood

The other day I was walking through the city centre when I saw before me on the footpath what looked like dried blood. There was little mistaking the dark red colouring or the tell tale splatter pattern of the droplets as they had struck the ground marking the grisly path that some unfortunate soul had taken down the street before they abruptly ended in an empty doorway.

Now I’m no Dexter Morgan, thankfully, but the absence of flashing lights, wailing sirens and yellow tape across the road assured me that I had not stumbled upon a crime scene. I had heard nothing on the morning news about a crazed axeman running through the streets of Belfast. So I was fairly satisfied that there had been no loss of life. But something had happened; so my mind went into overdrive trying to conjure up a likely scenario.

Had it been as innocent as one of the hundreds of schoolboys who take this route to the nearby grammar school every morning developing a nose bleed? Or was it something more sinister? A bar brawl which had spilled out onto the street or an altercation where a knife had been produced? Piercing skin, biting deep, striking home. Since starting this blog I have become acutely aware of the number of homeless people who populate the streets of Belfast. Young, vulnerable people with little hope in their eyes. Had one of them been the victim?

Our streets are caked in blood and grime. Some of it is visible to the eye, but not all. The homelessness, the violence, the drugs, the prostitution. Just like our homes are caked in grime. The grime of our sinful lives. Broken homes, broken relationships, broken families, broken hearts. What you don’t agree? Because behind every veneer of domestic bliss is a less than idyllic reality. Addiction, jealousy, depression, unforgiveness. It is everywhere. On our TV screens, on our social media and in our fickle hearts.

I wonder if on a morning almost two thousand years ago did any travellers on their way to Jerusalem pass a spot by the roadside where they saw a pool of dried blood. They were unfamiliar with the city but were later told that there had been three crucifixions there the previous day. Two common criminals and some madman who claimed he was the Son of God. Well he had been shown up for the charlatan he was and had died on the cross like the rest of them. Good riddance to him too; the last thing they needed was some rabble rouser riling the Romans. There was only going to be one winner there.

Saying that, there had been some strange things happening since then. Weird goings on up at the temple apparently. Some of his wacky hangers on had been running about shouting that he had risen from the dead. Was walking about with holes in his hands where they had driven the nails in. What nonsense. The travellers paid little attention to the tall tales, completed their business and departed the city to head home. Probably two drunks brawling. Or possibly bandits had robbed a less fortunate traveller.

Next time you pass a spot of dried blood on the pavement (or sidewalk as you crazy Americans insist on calling it) spare a thought for the person who shed it and the circumstances that led to them spilling it there. If you are a Christian pray for them. And spare a thought for the blood that Jesus spilled all those years ago. We normally associate spilt blood with danger and harm, but not His, which was willingly given in order to protect and purify.

He gave His blood in order to rid our lives of the guilt, shame and sinful living patterns that plague our every waking step. When it comes to His blood you can be certain as to the reasons for it forming in a pool at the foot of the Cross. There is no need for head scratching or speculation. He did it for me and for you. The decision is ours. Do we accept the sacrifice and follow Him or step over the blood he shed and carry on with our journey through life?

When did you last encounter blood on the street?

Do you believe there was a man called Jesus? Or it is just a fairytale?

23 thoughts on “Dried Blood

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  1. Wow! This is a wake up call to our calling as christians – extensions of Christ himself. Sympathy, empathy even, and concern for lost souls translating into action of sharing the good news of salvation and praying for the lost.

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  2. Most of the blood on our streets come from deer trying to cross a road. And we see that quite often. And Jesus, yes He was a man, the God Man, that was, is, and always will be. He is also my Lord and Savior because His blood bought my freedom.

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  3. I’ve seen a lot of blood over the years, yet I must confess I was completely detached from the humanness of it. I know that sounds ridiculous but that’s just the way it was. I like this became for the first time in a long time, I’ve thought about the human who shed it.

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  4. last time i saw blood was on my porch small drops most likely from a rodent who was given the death penalty by my cats for trespassing. I think jesus was real seeing that the timeline for all of western civilization is based on his birth

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  5. Actually, last week there was blood on the sidewalk outside my building. There is a men’s shelter two blocks from me that houses mentally ill, drug addicted sex offenders. Apparently around 3 AM one of these men had a scuffle with police. I heard he put his head thru the deli window next door,. Anyway the big window was shattered and the sidewalk spattered with blood. People just went in and bought their coffee and muffin anyway …

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  6. He was real! I’ve never thought of dried blood this way before but my work used to have its main window facing a busy road through our town. Whenever the ambulances or cop cars would pass by I would pray for their safety and for those they were going to help 🙂

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