This post was written by a dear friend of mine. She didn’t write it with the intention of submitting it to a blog, but I read it and asked her if I could post it to mine. She has been through some hard things….and she sees through the fog when she observes others who are struggling. I won’t ramble on. I hope that in reading this, you are provoked. I know I was and still am. Here is “A Wound Like That” by Christine Bauer.
How’s a heart supposed to heal from something like that? I haven’t enough fingers on one hand to count the friends whose families are ripping apart at the moment. Some are watching on as their spouse is leaving. Others as their children are fleeing in an unimaginable direction (at a time when their fledgling wings cannot carry them safely beyond it). I can literally feel their flesh ripping open as I empathize with their words. As they speak of how much they hurt and how much of their heart has left, along with their beloved, I ache for them. I can picture the gaping wound that has been left behind for them to tend to alone. How is a heart supposed to heal from a loss like that? I found the answer on a Sunday afternoon.
My son fell off of his bike and ripped a hole in his pants. And his leg. I knew, as soon as he got to his feet, that it wasn’t going to be pretty to look at. I helped him inside, then off with his helmet and his shoes. I took a small peek. Ouch! It was pretty ugly. He wanted to look too, but instead I helped him to wash his hands and pick out some clean clothes to wear once we got him out of his now tattered jeans. I calmly grabbed some supplies, settled him in a comfortable spot and went to work. As soon as he saw his injury he began to panic. Suddenly the pain that had been bad but bearable, just moments ago, was now unrelenting and driving his near hysteria! He pushed my hand away as I tried to clean it and screamed as I tried to wash it up. He wanted NOTHING to make his pain worse. But ‘worse’ is what it was going to be if I didn’t help it along to heal. That stabbing, searing heat he was feeling now would eventually subside to a constant ache that would only settle in deeper and deeper with time. Very likely an infection would spread, as would the area of discomfort. I set everything down, held his little face in my hands and kissed him. Then I calmly explained that I simply couldn’t leave it the way it was. I reminded him that I loved him, and that I loved him enough to do this in spite of his objections. And object, he did. Even knowing my love. Even knowing I’d be as tender as I could possibly be, he objected. Strong and loud! But with some time and a strength greater than his own(his father’s arms to hold him still) the deed was done. And now it was time to tend to it in other ways. To carry on, gingerly at first, and to care for it regularly. To have him routinely come to me for inspection and addressing.
How hurried we get. How much we want to rush God into fixing what we can clearly see is wrong. Or broken. Or ailing. How panicked we become when we see the depth of our wounds. Or those of others. How surprised we are by their size and scale. Their tenderness to touch. How much we protest when anything ventures near it after that. Sometimes He must force us to be a compliant patient, as we flail about, resisting Him. Sometimes He must hold us tightly in place, lest we try to run elsewhere with our wounds intact and undressed. But how patiently He tends to them. All of them! Even the stuff He won’t let us see just yet. The details that escape our notice, or that He outright shields from our view, do not go unnoticed by Him.
Sometimes when we see those loved ones leaving, we begin to panic. We begin to see our flesh opening up and parts of us being torn loose. We can’t imagine ever feeling whole again so we fight hard, in our crazy manic state, trying to resist it’s escape. To recapture that completeness at any cost. Or we settle into a state of paralyzing sorrow. As if lying on the ground where we fell means that the wound isn’t there. But those things that we focus on…those pains and those wounds. They’re made WORSE by focusing on them rather than the One who is tending to it all! To those soft soothing words of His, found in scripture. His Word grabs us by the face and gives us that tender kiss of reassurance that He is still there! That He’s right beside us. That He sees what needs work and is busy at mending. Restoring. Sometimes He’s just gotta clean stuff up a bit, before He can let the wounds close up. And sometimes that intensifies the hurt for a while, but it must be done. Wounds that go unattended don’t heal well on their own. Actually they don’t heal at all. They fester with infection and open back up at the slightest touch. They inhibit our ability to function and leave scars that are deep and profound. So as we sit in the arms of Jesus and wait for that completion of wellness to be restored, we find a Strength, greater than our own, takes hold of us. We find a Hand that knows how to soothe our hurts. We find our Lord loving on us in ways we might not understand, but must choose to see as beneficial. We choose to have faith that He’s got a plan!
I’m reminded of what it is to patiently wait on God’s plan. I think about God’s own sacrifice in fulfilling His plan. How the King of all creation sat motionless as The Darling of Heaven was struck. How restrained was the hand of the Father. A Father fully capable of striking back in defense of His Son, but didn’t. How saddened by the events unfolding before His eyes, but how certain of things yet to come. The very things made possible by loss! He could see past the sorrow and loss and pain of the moment, to see the glory and the splendor and the VICTORY that was out on the horizon beyond it! That the sacrifice in this moment redeemed more than an escape from it ever could. So, just maybe we can see that more can be salvaged by way of our own sacrifice, than can be redeemed by way of our momentary escapes? Maybe we sit still, in spite of the pain, and wait for Him to dress our wounds. Maybe we allow him to apply the pressure needed to lessen the loss and help the healing? Please don’t mishear that. The sacrifice isn’t our loved one that’s leaving. The sacrifice is in the time we walk without them. In the prayers we lift up on their behalf. In the times that we ask God to dress their wounds too. In the brokenness that we place at God’s feet…and leave there. This is how a heart heals from a wound like that! As we regularly come to Him and allow His hand to tend to us. This is how God heals a heart from a wound like that!