I have heard it said, “Time heals all wounds.”
But, what about the ones which hurt so bad they leave the stomach in nots, the mind in utter disarray, and cause days to strech into lifetimes? The ones where if you’re still breathing at the end of the day it’s a victory?
Does time heal? Or does it just dull the hurt and give us time to build iron gates around the wound so we don’t have to think about it or let anyone else near it?
It’s time like these where we ask the question, ‘Why?’ And we go in circles in our minds with questions being answered with more questions and before we know it, we’re farther from the truth then when we started. We find ourselves looking in instead of looking around. “Why me? Why now? Did I do something wrong? Where is this coming from?” Round and round we go. No one has answers. There is no solution. So, we wait it out. And slowly, the pain turns to a dull throb and then to a callous. Our capacity to love is diminished by fear of future heartache and we shut down. Defenses are built. Fortifications so strong all the armies of the world are turned away. This is what time does. It doesn’t heal. It doesn’t mend or rebuild burnt bridges or make things new. There is only one thing, one person, I know who can truly mend.
A few weeks ago, I heard a message on pain and suffering. On where it comes from and why we live in it and through it. What it comes down to is this world is broken. When sin entered, it altered, forever, the world and creation and emotion and it set a cosmic clock, slowly ticking down to the time this world would end and new one would be created. Paul says it beautifully when he says the world is groaning as in the pains of childbirth. It’s breaking. Cracking. Falling to pieces. Kind of like a car with a gagillion miles on it. Slowly becoming a clunker. Our world is becoming a 1987 Honda Civic with different colored doors. And there is only one hope. This hope is a man who provided a means for us to communicate with the creator who is reconcoling all things to himself. It’s to this hope we must cling to if there is any chance to make it through the pain and the let down of those around us. As the message progressed, I began to examine my heart and look at where I had been in the previous months. Asking questions and wondering if God was even real or if he was a figment of the imagination created within the human psyche to be the dumping ground for things we didn’t want to handle ourselves. I remember praying prayers and feeling like they were going nowhere to no one. I remember feeling alone, lost, confused, and utterly abandoned by a God who claimed to love me. The tears came as the pastor began to tell a story about his own son who had severely cut his hand on a camping trip. They rushed him to the hospital and it was obvious he would need stitches. He goes on to say as the son was laying there in complete terror of the coming operation, he was holding his hand, wishing more than anything to take his place. Realization came crashing down as I understood the times where I felt my savior was farthest away were the times when he was actually holding me, sending his spirit to intercede on my behalf before the father. Wishing more than anything to take my place, but knowing the pain would turn me into the man he needed me to be. Knowing it would stretch me beyond what I thought my emotions could bare, all the while growing me into a person capable of completing the work set before me. Even Jesus himself had to descend before he could ascend. It’s not until we reach the bottom of the deepest, darkest hole we discover the solution to the pain. And as we come into the full knowledge of the grace of Lord, the pain seems to diminish. Not becuase we are learning to cope or because our defense mechanisms are working, but because the glory of the rescue far outweighs the signigicance of the wound. So, instead of losing our capacity to love, we begin to learn a new kind and we find ourselves wanting to give and share it to any and everyone.
The wounds leave scars. Sometimes big, sometimes small, and all the time ugly. But, I would rather have a scar as a testament to the saving grace of a father instead of an iron gate around the greatest gift he has ever given.
Time doesn’t heal. It barries it deeper and deeper only to come back later. The Father mends wounds, allowing us to love in a new way, a better way.
And so is the Great Romance.