Broken Things

Enjoying a rare long weekend together, David and I took Sheba out on a little “mini adventure” the other day. David had no sooner grabbed her leash than she was waiting at the door, wagging her tail and ready to go. That dog loves to ride in the car. It doesn’t matter where she’s going. She doesn’t care. If she’s in the car going somewhere, she’s happy.

First stop, the dog park. For the first time, we were the only ones there, but that didn’t stop our girl from heading straight for the pond for a quick little dip. Next, we went to the nature center, where the three of us meandered down one of the walking trails. Later that evening, I noticed Sheba was limping. At first I thought she had perhaps picked up a sticker or splinter or something. But closer inspection revealed something a little more serious. The pad on her right front paw was torn away in one spot. It was not a deep wound, but it was easy to see why it was tender. What was supposed to protect the flesh on her foot was no longer there.

She laid there patiently while we bandaged her up. It was like she was almost grateful to have the wound being tended to. For two days now, she has not fussed with the bandage, which is a far cry from the last time she got hurt. Last year she took a flying leap out of the back of David’s truck and messed up all four of her feet. Since she wouldn’t leave the bandages alone, she had to wear one of the big plastic collars that limited her movement. She did not appreciate that one bit, but it was necessary for her to let the wounds heal.

This time, though, she is leaving everything alone and letting the foot heal. By the next morning she was already walking much better, and the foot is healing nicely. I know she’s “just a dog,” but it’s like she has learned the hard way that an unattended wound will not heal – something the rest of us would do well to remember.

Hiding from the broken places in our lives and pretending they are not there only moves us farther away from wholeness. We limp through life, trying to ignore the hurt in our heart, while it is blatantly obvious to everyone around us that we are hurting. We need the Healer to tend to our wounds.

First He cleanses the wounds, washing away all the debris that surrounds and causes infection. Next, He applies a healing ointment, a soothing balm that brings comfort. This is followed by a covering, which protects and allows the healing to begin. Many people want to stop here in the healing process. But there is another step that must be taken for the healing to be complete. When the wound is ready, the covering is removed so that air can reach it. This results in the restoration of the outer layers of skin, which provide natural protection. A scar is left, a reminder of what was, but the healing and restoration are complete.

There are things in my own heart that are in this final restorative phase of the healing process. While still unpleasant at times, I have no doubt that this is for my good, and that it is necessary if I am to walk in wholeness. Yes, the air on a not-quite-healed wound stings a little from time to time, but I can handle it. As it heals, it itches occasionally, and I want to scratch it, but this would only reopen the wound, slowing down the healing. I don’t want to go there. I like it here and I like what lies in front of me.

The Healer is monitoring my progress. Broken things are being restored. Placing my heart in His hands was the first step. It can be for you, too.

“Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it;
I will heal my people and will let them enjoy
abundant peace and security.”
Jeremiah 33:6
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