When I was a little girl, I liked to play in my backyard and since I had a play house and a sandbox, the neighborhood kids liked to play in my yard also. It was a nice yard, but small and with a host of small kids running and playing, there were always skinned knees. I can remember Mom putting a bandage on it and for a time it seemed great. Afterall, it was ugly and having covered it with a bandage, I didn’t have to look at it. The bandage also kept me from “making it worse” and so it didn’t hurt so much anymore. Eventually Mom would, some time later, insist on peeling off the bandage so it could get a breath of air and fully heal. I didn’t like that. I preferred to avoid that part. I didn’t want to deal with it. Removing the bandage hurt, and looking at my wound troubled me too. But she insisted and so . . . . ouch. Hmmm . . . exposing my wound to that breath of air did something though. It allowed my wound to be healed. Pretty soon, things were so much better than they’d been when the ugly wound was simply hidden under a covering.
I’m not a little girl anymore, but I still resist having my wounds, my brokenness, exposed. I can come up with excuses such as “I’m fine.” and “I got it under control.” But, if my brokenness isn’t exposed, it’s not going to ever heal and things really aren’t “okay” at all. I was meant to be free and I can’t be free if I’m limping along resisting healing. So, a while back someone special to me, and wise with a wisdom reflecting the intensity of Jesus’ love for him and his love for Jesus, suggested I join a book study group. Our church has had several “reruns” of this book study since so many have been healed and renewed by such an opportunity. I kept being urged by my loving friend and spiritual leader to “do this. Trust me.” I have to say, I love and trust him, but I looked at the book and saw I’d need to rip off bandages to expose wounds for healing and decided again and again that “why would I want to do that? I have been hurt MORE than enough.” After five or so opportunities, I reluctantly said “Okay I’ll do it this time.” I drove to the churc on night one and got a spot by the door and couldn’t get out of the car. My wise friend saw through the window that I was sitting there and texted me gentle light messages that were likely indications, not of his desire to tease, but his realization that I didn’t want to rip off the bandage and was about to bolt. I made myself get out of the car and in the weeks spent with the book, I hurt some, but ultimately felt better than ever having exposed my soul-wounds to the breath of Jesus Christ who breathed new life into me and took away my brokenness.
I wish I could say that I’m totally cool with ripping off the bandages in my soul and eagerly exposing other wounds to Jesus, but I still bite my lip and gingerly tug the bandage, then sometimes bolt. I have come to a place where I am getting better at realizing that this hesitation is not the way to be healed. I also know, when I stop and listen to His voice, the voice of my Savior, that He wants to breath new life into the wounds . . . I’m not sure I’ll ever get to a point where I don’t bite my lip and squeeze my eyes tightly closed as I rip the bandage off, but I can tell you with certainty that it “only hurts a minute” and the ugly wounds really do heal and my soul becomes filled with His joy in the places where my wounds resided.
Loved and set free by Jesus is a wonderful thing you can only know if you let Him. Now, at the count of three . . . one – two – three . . . RIP. There, did you feel His loving breath touch you in that special way only He can? I knew you would!