Posted by: Tom Gaddis | August 15, 2009

A Piece of Us

367936_face_-_trying_to_copeI woke up this morning thinking about the demands we face daily from our children, spouses, people on the job, friends and ministry, and all needing a piece of us.

Then it occurred to me; is it any wonder that we awaken some mornings diminished, depleted, disabled and limping into the next season’s new challenges?

I can identify with the bumper sticker, “I use to have a handle on life, but it broke,” or “Out of my mind. Back in five minutes.”

We aren’t talking about a sewing circle when we say, “She just fell to pieces at the news,” or “My life feels like it is coming unraveled.”

There can be a subtraction of pieces from our life when taking care of kids, or counseling a broken friend, or just from fulfilling everyday responsibilities.

We regularly need time with the Lord to put us back together again—restoring quietness back into our souls, stitching up minds pulled apart by anxieties, and mending heart pieces that have been broken against the hardness of others.

The Hebrews had a word for this called rapha, which is an onomatopoeic word. (I dare you to say that three times, really fast!) I really love big words like tetragrammaton (four letters making up God’s name—YHWH), zomotherapy (therapy using fresh meat), or delicatessen (a place where you get the fresh meat).

Onomatopoeic is any word sounding like the thing it describes. For instance, the babble of a brook, the cuckoo of a clock, the croak of a frog, or the sizzle of eggs on a skillet are words all sounding like what they describe.

So what does rapha sound like?

It’s the sound made by a seamstress pushing a needle through a garment and pulling thread through the puncture only to be repeated until the garment is whole—rapha, rapha, rapha.

God has even taken the name rapha in Exodus 15, calling himself Yahweh-Rapha; the Lord who mends, heals, and stitches the pieces of our lives back together. This is what he intends to do for his children.

God has a sewing room called the Sabbath. It is here that he does some of his finest repairs bringing together the cloth of our souls—torn, threadbare, bleached out from  our hectic lives—with his day of rest, Sabbath. On these days of rest, if you listen closely, you may hear rapha, rapha, rapha as he works his repairs within you.



  1. Lovely…

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