A man cautiously pulls back a curtain
Steadies his nerves
Breathes deep and steps in.Friends who aren't allowed to come in
Wait outsideThey crane their necks Hoping to catch the jingle of the bells he wears
The jingle that tells them 'He still moves'
That the priest has survived, He's still alive.
They listen for the jingle of acceptance
As he enters the Holy place.
He is in the very presence of Yahweh, the Lord God Almighty.
But he doesn't enter for himself aloneDid you spot them?
Amongst his clothes of dignity and honour
The twelve stones on his breastplate
Can you make out the engraving?
He carries the names of Israel's families
He wears them over his heart before God
As a memorial before him.
He carries all of Israel on his heart into God's presence.
21 centuries after Christ
A chosen one
A royal priest in royal blue scrubs
Again, clothed in dignity and honour
But now clothed in Christ himself, wow!
I come boldly…can you believe it?
I waltz in with all the familiarity of a daughter crawling up onto her dad's lap
And I'm in. In the presence of the same Yahweh,
The very same Lord God almighty
And, you won't have spotted them
But I too have twelve names I carry
From our twelve bedded adolescent unit in Oxford
Twelve patient's names
Twelve stories of sickness and brokenness
I too wear their names over my heart before him
In his presence
I intercede for them 'Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven 'In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit
Bex Lawton is a paediatric nurse in Oxford, CMF's Associate Head of Nurses and Midwives and
'Poet in Residence'