Recently I wounded my hand while swimming. It was a race –me against my older son and somewhere in the middle I got off track and banged my hand against the rough concrete edge of the pool and even though I was triumphant in this highly contested sporting event, I was left with a pretty sizeable cut on my hand. Oh well–can’t win ‘em all.
Over the next month though I intently focused on the wound. I was mesmerized by the way in which God created our bodies to remedy their own injuries. Sure, I did what I needed to do by washing it out and regularly applying Neosporin, but ultimately the body had to do its thing. I couldn’t help but think about how the healing of my wound is a perfect metaphor for how our own children (or students) recover from painful things (both physical and non-physical).
If you have children, or work with students that have gone through hurts, here are a couple of lessons that we can take from our own God-given bodies:
- It will get worse before it gets better. When I first injured my hand it didn’t really look that bad, but two days later once the scabs started to form it was a bit of an eyesore to say the least. Even though my wound had already entered the healing process, it didn’t appear to be getting better to the casual observer. Likewise when our children begin the healing process after being wounded (Now I am speaking about emotional and psychological wounds.), we have to patient with them realizing that the outward appearance might not accurately reflect what’s going on inside.
- Wounds heal from the outside in. As the literal wound on my hand began to heal I noticed that the skin closest to the wound turned an off-color red. I later learned that the skin surrounding the wound was responsible for two things: protecting the scab that had developed and generating new skin cells to overtake the wound. Sometimes when our children are wounded we make the mistake of pressuring them to muster up enough strength within themselves to fix whatever problem their dealing with–akin to a “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps” kind of mentality. In all reality we should look to their surroundings for help in the battle. Who (or what) are they surrounding themselves with, both at home and away from home, that will assist them in this outside-in healing process?
- There will be a scar. The human body is an amazing thing. As of today my wound is completely healed. There are no more scabs, and when I run my fingers along the place where the wound was I now feel new, smoother skin. And while I can’t really feel a difference between pre and post wound, I can definitely see one. Try as we might to medicate and hydrate on our skin, if the wound was large enough there will be a scar. Similarly, our kids will acquire scars along the way –but rather than try to cover up the damage done, what if we helped them to see the scar as constant reminder to the beautiful work of Jesus in their lives?
Thanks for reading.