Raise your hand if you have never, in your entire life, met someone who has not been physically injured in some way. Ok now, if you raised your hand, call me, I know a good shrink that could help. Seriously.
Now that we are clear on the fact that life is full of injury, physical injury at this point, I have a mental exercise for you.
I want you to be gross. I can help. Picture in your mind all the types of injuries you have been exposed to.
I am the Mom of three mainly grown boys so I will make suggestions by my memories of their experiences.
The toddler stage = bumps, bruises, and contusions. Usually black & blue & red & swollen. I was always nervous taking my first child to the doctor because he generally had a huge lump right in the middle of his forehead. I didn’t know all the kids had them.
Still in the toddler stage but getting older are the childhood viruses that come with rashes, sores and infections. Thrush, ringworm, hand, foot & mouth disease, kawasaki syndrome, croup, fifth disease, strep, scarlet fever….
More time outside brings; bites, hives, contact dermatitis. Oh, I forgot, the “day one to forever” for all of us, are the scratch, the scrape, and the abrasion.
The Middle School years and up = lacerations, incisions, punctures, gashes, tears, crushes, fractures. These expose you to ER visits, (where you don’t know what you will see) stitches, staples, and sometimes casting.
Many of you have dealt with actual open surgical wounds much earlier than you ever expected and I salute you. In my parent’s generation all surgical wounds were sutured up. Now, some types are left without closing sutures, in order to help the body heal from the inside out. You will see, redness, drainage, dried blood, and pus, to name a few.
So, you all have pictures in your minds of what a “wound” looks like, depending on your own experiences. And a corresponding one for an “open wound.”
That’s the problem I’m having with my “open wound” analogy. One person fretted, “but there is healing for wounds, Jill.” Another pictured someone with oozing leprosy. If you read my intro, I tried to explain the meaning. If that didn’t work, think of it like a burn. Even after a burn is healed and doesn’t hurt so much there is still a visible mark. A place that says, “I was hurt.”
So, open wound living is being mindful that no matter what you see in a person’s outward appearance, we have all been hurt. That this life, as joyful as it can be, also hurts. What harm does it do to tread gently? Some people carry hurt forever and it shows in daily decisions and actions. Some heal well, but only after time and tender loving care. Some feel raw on the inside and may respond to life and others in a defensive manner. Can we help each other fight this tendency? Maybe offer to lend some courage or faith in the tougher moments instead of judging harshly?
When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
A new friend recently pointed out, that after Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead (a momentous act of healing to say the least!) He still asked Lazarus’ sister and friend to “take off the grave clothes” for him. So Lazarus needed Jesus and his friends help to live again. And if you think about it, three days dead, what gentleness and patience was required for that.