Yesterday morning as I was opening a new bottle of coffee creamer,
I decided it would be easier to push in the metal protective seal rather than peeling it off (this was not a great decision).
As I pushed the metal to the edges, it became a weapon and my finger became the target.
I won't go into descriptive detail; I'll just say this.
The cut was deep enough to probably require a stitch or two and several band-aids later, I had to change to two band-aids wrapped tightly on top of each other to get through the morning.
I just couldn't bring myself to go to the doctor with a coffee-creamer-lid injury.
Last night, Olivia and I worked in her bedroom for several hours.
We rearranged furniture.
We evaluated every basket full of hair supplies and lotion and decided what should stay and what should go.
In the midst of this moving of dressers and other pieces of furniture,
my band-aids came off and my morning wound showed no signs of healing.
I didn't realize it had been exposed for a few minutes and by the time I did,
several fingers were affected by the flow of blood.
It was as if no time had passed in the healing process.
I found myself once again trying to wrap enough band-aids around my finger to keep it from making a bigger mess.
I'm sure the scar from my carelessness will be with me forever,
and I'm beginning to wonder just how long it's going to take for this cut to heal.
My heart is a lot like this finger injury.
I have some deep wounds.
I have some wounds I have tried to wrap up on my own through the years.
I have some wounds that still need lots of protection in order to keep others nearby from being affected by the mess.
Yesterday morning, my heart band-aid fell off leaving a deep wound gaping.
It was small words really.
Probably not even remembered by the tongues involved.
But when a wound has no protection,
things get messy quickly.
And I found myself with nothing to wrap over the exposed pain.
As my co-worker started to share about our plan for the morning,
I listened, nodding my head.
But I knew there was no pretending.
I knew that without some sort of protection I wasn't going to make it through the next hour, the next minute.
So I just said,
"I'm sorry. If I say what is on my mind right now, I'm going to cry......"
And then, as if on cue, the tears began to roll and thankfully the library we were in had a box of Kleenex and thankfully she listened as I released a bit of my heartache and then she allowed me to go see my friend who is a school counselor. And thankfully my friend was in her office and she held me while I wept and wept and wept some more.
Deep wounds are hard to heal.
And it doesn't take a lot to reopen them when your heart is involved.
And even though I try to be strong, and I try to keep my heart wrapped tightly in the protection of God's love and strength,
I have moments when I can't take any more.
And yesterday morning the bandage wore out,
and I found myself unprotected from pain.
Have you been there?
Has someone hurt you with his/her words who didn't even know what they were doing?
I don't cry very easily anymore.
I use to cry often.
But when I reach the breaking point, the point of weak bandages,
my tears make crocodile tears look tiny;
and ugly probably doesn't even describe the experience.
I discovered yesterday, though, that in my time of weakness,
several others noticed and shared their own deep wounds with me.
In my pain,
they seemed to have permission to be okay with theirs.
I love how God works through puffy eyes, no mascara, and a softened heart.
I'm better now.
I've talked it out.
I've rewrapped the pain and come to grips with the fact that it's okay to not always be strong.
I've made a few decisions about how to handle future days of weakness.
So this morning, as I type with one finger well-bandaged and a little awkward on the keyboard,
I'm thinking about my heart and how it struggles with some awkwardness itself as it tries to beat while being wrapped tightly, somewhat protected from an occasionally cruel world.
Do you have some deep wounds that need extra protection?
Do you ever find yourself reaching a place of weak bandages where the deepness of your wounds can no longer be hidden?
If so, don't be afraid to talk to somebody.
Don't try to wrap your wounds up on your own over and over again.
Reach out to someone who loves you and let the messiness of your wound be exposed now and then.
Healing comes in time;
but when wounds are deep, the healing is slow.
And the scars are permanent.
Today's another day.
Another chance to face the world.
I'm making sure my wounds are wrapped tightly in His love this morning,
but I'm fully aware that even when the wrapping loosens and the wound is exposed,
God is still there and He chooses to work in different ways.
Ways that require the messiness of my deep wounds.
He may need the messiness of yours today too.
So, whether you feel
strong or weak,
safe or exposed,
secure or vulnerable,
GOD LONGS TO USE YOU
When I am weak, then I am strong.
II Cor. 12:10
He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.