Saturday, January 28, 2012


The big purple blotch on the top of my foot spread from toe to toe, and halfway back to the base of my ankle. It looked like it ought to hurt—and yet, I couldn't remember incurring the injury. I pressed on the bruise with a finger. Sure enough! It felt tender and sensitive. How had I hurt myself? Had I tripped, fallen, dropped my suitcase on my foot . . . ? I could only guess.

Although this bruise did rival others in size and ugliness, it didn't alarm me. Ever since I was small, I've been accruing scrapes and bruises, wounds and scars by various klutzy maneuvers. I promptly forget the ouchy incidents—after all, they're too numerous and minor to save in long-term memory. And yet, the reminders remain. Under my skin, broken blood vessels regenerate their walls and clean up the damaged cells. Burns blister and scab over. Broken skin knits itself back together, often leaving faint scars as records of pain I can't even recall. My quick dismissal of my little accidents doesn't lessen the labor my cells must go through for healing.

Another kind of wound surprises and concerns me more than bruises and broken skin. Sometimes I find hurts buried inside my heart, ignored and neglected so long that I can't even remember who or what inflicted them. In fact, I often don't know these "bruises" exist until—whoops—I've found myself reacting to life and relationships in unhealthy ways. When I stop to notice, I find unresolved bitterness, pride, pain, and resentment.

Unlike superficial injuries, this sort of wound can't be healed by busy cells without my conscious effort. It takes careful examination and a trip to the Divine Doctor to truly resolve these internal issues. His love and His instructions can soothe and heal any hurt. Frequently, though, the healing process intensifies the pain for a time, and that can sometimes be hard to enjoy. Too often I'm tempted to cover my hurts back up and ignore the root issues; it seems much more convenient to remain in "ignorance" of my wounds and their origins. Unfortunately, this only increases my sinful responses—and the bitter ache.

I'd be concerned if that bruise on my foot hadn't healed by now. Thankfully, it has. And now to tend the ones inside. Guess what? I'm finding it's worth it!


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