Deep wounds heal slowly. I plunged my gloved hands into the suppurating wound and attempted to distract my patient from the pain, embarrassment, and agony of amputation. Never again would his body be whole.
Healing hands are loving hands. Every two hours. Day after day. Month upon month, the other nurses and I irrigated Henry’s wound as it mended from the inside out. He became dear to us as he lay, for almost a year, in an isolation room with only one small window to the outer world. Almost 40 years later, memories invade my dreams and surface at random times.
Wounds, whether physical or emotional, can leave a gaping hole. My own heart bears such a gash. As a result, nightmares awaken me with tears streaming, and daytime thoughts create a persistent pain. My injuries have not yet scarred over, but a return to writing, to singing, to a choice to forgive, offers proof of the Great Physician’s tender hands.
For example, Jesus never failed to touch those whom others shunned, whose world was limited by walls they could not scale, either actual or societal. He laid loving hands on the sick and wounded, whether of the body or spirit. His restoration touches both.
My world began to tilt and turn over two years ago. Few people know how to respond when the mainstays of a friend’s life fall apart. Isolation from loved ones and sword thrusts to my heart through damaged relationships created a relentless ache. My restoration began with the realization that I had injured others too. In order to receive healing, I was required to humble myself and seek forgiveness from those I wronged. As a result, the dark clouds filling my world began to break that day, allowing bits of sunlight to stream through. Jesus spoke to the paralyzed man, in Mark 2:11, and said, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home…” In the same way, He reached out to me. Though slow, the healing has begun.
Above all, hurtful situations require us to search our own hearts. Once wounded, we become aware of other’s pain and hear a call to try and assuage it. As a result, our trials are redeemed when we extend a hand to someone else who struggles. Jesus offered healing and forgiveness to those He met, yet those very people would wound Him in the future. Likewise, He desires us to offer hope wherever we are able. When the Master Healer touches us the often slow, but relentless process begins. He will not leave us where He finds us. Scars are stronger than the surrounding skin. Therefore, once God reveals His power to restore, our spirits gain strength and soar to new heights.
Our Heavenly Father Restores
I remember being carried on my father’s back as a child. I raised my tired head long enough to know I was safe before I fell back to sleep. Likewise, in recent months I have become conscious of the solid strength of my heavenly Father’s back beneath my cheek. He holds me now. He carried me all the time. Every day, I become more aware that He lifted me out of the miry pit to a place where the sunshine warms my face. Wounds heal slowly, but with God, restoration is certain, even though we may bear scars.
I love the visual image of Deuteronomy 33:26 and 27, “There is no one like the God of Jeshurun, who rides across the heavens to help you and on the clouds in his majesty. The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. He will drive out your enemies before you…”
In fact, before we know our need, God rushes to the rescue. Whether our wounds are of the body or spirit, He is present, always. Although people and circumstances can tear and gouge, Jesus understands our suffering. He promises to never leave or forsake us. Look up from the pit. He is there.
“Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders.” Deuteronomy 33:12