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[The following very much falls in the range of "too much information." It is not for the squeamish. But one cannot talk honestly about the Incarnation of God without including a few uncomfortable details.]

It started when I stepped into the bathroom at the end of a work day in April, stood at the urinal, and out came a stream of red. Something is wrong here, I surmised. I quickly flushed and cleaned up after myself. I then rushed outside, hopped on my bicycle, and rode home. When my wife walked in the door a few minutes later, I suggested we spend our Friday night at the emergency room. (It was one of few times she didn't have a better idea about what to do on our weekly date night.)

After arriving at the hospital, I was asked to urinate. I could tell the nurse didn't quite believe me when I described what had happened. She no doubt thought I was panicking after seeing a little pink in my urine. When I filled the little urine container with what appeared to be pure blood, her eyes widened and she said, "Ah, I see."

This was the first stage in my new relationship with blood. Our friendship warmed over the next month before I had prostate surgery; we saw each other often in those weeks. But since the surgery was so successful, well, we just don't see each other as often as we used to.

* * *

I may be friendlier with blood, but we're not intimate yet—that is, I'm not ready to drink it. That Jesus would use this metaphor to talk about the Eucharist—well, how can a middle-class, suburban white guy, sheltered from the gorier details of life, put it? How about: It's disgusting. If you serve wine in your home, and tell your guests to think about blood as they drink it, you can be sure that some will gingerly put their wine ...

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SoulWork
In "SoulWork," Mark Galli brings news, Christian theology, and spiritual direction together to explore what it means to be formed spiritually in the image of Jesus Christ.
Mark Galli
Mark Galli is Editor of Christianity Today in Carol Stream, Illinois.
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