Several years ago, “the boy” suffered a rather horrific accident involving a treadmill, his finger, the belt and the top speed. I will spare you the details by just allowing you to put those elements together and imagining what took place. Put it this way, his finger lost the battle with the belt and the treadmill. It was nasty (you’re looking at his hand in the sidebar image aren’t you?)
After many x-rays, hours in the ER and several stitches to close the massive wound, we were headed home with a teddy bear and a healthy bill. In the weeks that followed, we would dress the wound every day just like you would any other cut. Yet every night, it would look as bad, if not worse than it had that morning. This wound just would not heal. You see, it wasn’t just a wound (the stitches took care of that part), he suffered burns to the finger from the treadmill belt too.
We were treating the wound the wrong way.
Once we began to treat the wound as a burn and not a cut, we began to see progress. His finger would eventually heal from the burn. He’s had to have other surgeries and physical therapy and his finger still looks like a little hockey stick but that’s not really the point of this post. The original wound and how we treated it are.
For the past several months, I’ve been treating a “wound” too. This is not a physical wound and most people wouldn’t even notice (hopefully). I recently had to come to grips with the fact that, like his finger, I’ve been treating this wound the wrong way. I’ve been applying what I thought would work and seeing little to no results. Seeing no progress has led to further frustration. This week, a good friend said “you’ve been wounded. You keep returning to the same place where the wound took place and you haven’t given it a chance to heal.” Suddenly it all made sense.
It’s time to address this wound the proper way.
Like “the boys” finger, this is not going to be a quick fix. Healing takes time. Healing takes patience. Sometimes healing even requires further steps and things may never return to normal. But healing that initial wound has to be addressed first. For me that means I’ve got to step away from the origin of the wound. I have to create space and allow this wound to properly heal.
I share that with you today because we all walk through seasons of being wounded. We get wounded emotionally, physically even mentally. Maybe, like me, you have been trying to heal that wound in the wrong way or in the wrong place. I encourage you to take some time to really look at the wound. Listen to what others have advised you. Pray about how God is leading you to best begin the road to recovery. It is not easy. It may never return to normal. But like my son, you learn to live with it and won’t really think about it (until your dad does a blog post about it).
And here’s the most interesting thing…
His finger is now a part of his story. When people see it, he can tell about how it happened and it doesn’t bother him. It no longer hurts. He has moved on both physically and mentally. He has healed from the wounds and it has become a part of who he is. We now call his finger his “lucky fin” and it looks quite odd, but it’s a part of him. No more pain. No more frustration.
We can all do the same.
**Footnote: Last year in school, he smashed his other finger in a door at school. When they sent him to the school nurse, she saw his “lucky fin” finger and said “ummmmmm I’m not sure I can fix that….” He smiled and said, “no it’s not that finger, it’s this one.” She smiled, put a bandaid on it and sent him back to class.
Our wounds can be a part of our story. They can even be a source of joy one day. We just have to treat them properly.