Today I’m losing Jon’s entire family, who are leaving for Germany, as well as my “little sister” Lizzie, who’s also visiting right now, so I suspect the blog I’ve been trying to write won’t actually get finished until tomorrow. Meanwhile, one of my girlfriends just sent me this reflection on her first-ever trip to the hospital for stitches, and I thought you might appreciate it too:
The accident happened in just a moment that I wished I could take back. While pitting an avocado, the knife slipped and I cut my finger more deeply than I have ever cut myself. With the initial shock, I did not feel pain nor did the wound bleed – for a moment. As the shock wore off, the blood poured forth and the pain set in.
I knew the cut looked too deep for a Band-Aid to keep closed so I asked my teenage daughter, “Do you think I need stitches?” She looked up from doing her homework and saw the paper towel wrapped around my finger to stem the now heavily-bleeding wound, and her face turned pale as the blood drained from it. She asked, “Do you need me to drive you to Urgent Care?” Then, “Couldn’t you shriek or something to let me know rather than just appearing with a blood-soaked paper towel around your finger so I’m a little more prepared for the shock?”
Thankfully, a friend was on her way over to visit, so she took me to Urgent Care. She offered, “I can drive you, talk to you and distract you with funny Face Book videos; I just can’t see blood!” When she found out that I had never had emergency stitches before, she suggested, “You can check this off your bucket list!” “But it wasn’t on my bucket list,” I replied. She asked, “Don’t you ever write and add things to lists just to check them off?” Perhaps with tasks, but not this!
As I folded my hands in prayer a few days later, the wound was sore and tender. When the stitches were removed after 7-10 days, one end of the cut was not laying flat and healing as well as the other end. A nurse friend who took out the sutures offered to use skin glue and wrap Steri-strips around to better help hold the cut closed. She said, “We’ll look next week and see how it’s doing.”
When the next week came, she observed, “It’s getting better; it’s healing from the inside. But I think we should glue and wrap it again to help close it up more and minimize scarring.” After one more week, the glue and strips were removed and the cut looked much better and well on the way toward healing, although still tender with likely scarring. In addition to the physical process, God used the incident as an object lesson of how He heals other wounds. I reflected on Psalm 147:3 – He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Just like my nurse friend described my wound healing from the inside, similarly, God works and heals from the inside. He does soul work that no one else can do. Psalm 34:18 – “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” He alone can illumine the darkness within.
I also see how He binds up support from the outside, much like my skin glue and Steri-strips, to help hold us together and protect when we’re wounded. He gives His Word, friends and family in Christ who aid in support of healing.
Whether the wounds are accidental, self-inflicted, or caused by others, He is able to heal and redeem. Yes, there is still tenderness, scarring, and time needed in the process of healing, “’But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,’ declares the LORD” in Jeremiah 30:17. And He promises to redeem and heal fully in the future, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
Will you ask for His help and trust Him to bring healing to your wounds? Do you recognize the ways in which He binds up and heals with support of others?
“Heal me, LORD, and I will be healed; save me, and I will be saved, for You are my praise” (Jeremiah 17:14). —Guest writer: Lisa Walkendorf
(Sorry for your accident, but thank you for sharing, Lisa!)