Loving the Wounded

God bless the inventor of Band Aids!

That little tacky plaster has soothed more fears and tears than almost any other invention in the world.

Skinned knee?  Put a BandAid on it.

Bee sting?  BandAid.

Tiny bump that no one can even see?  Oh, sweetie, let me give you a BandAid.

Simply acknowledging pain and woundedness is so often all that is needed to encourage a heart and point it toward healing.

It’s the same in the world of emotional, psychological and spiritual wounds.

But we have yet to invent the BandAid for those.

band aid and heart

Instead, frequently we ignore, refute, minimize and pass over the one in our midst who holds out a hand or a heart saying, “I have a boo boo.”

Believe me, I understand-so many of these wounds are incurable, they are uncomfortable to think about, hard to look at.compassion and stay with you

But often the only thing the hurting heart wants is acknowledgement, a moment of time, a face turned full into theirs, eye-to-eye and unafraid to remain alongside through the pain.

Just as a BandAid bears witness to the wound underneath, our compassionate presence can bear witness to the deeper wounds no one can see.

When we choose to lean in and love, to listen and learn, to walk with the wounded we give a great gift.

compassion is a choice

 

Beauty That Lasts

We spend so much time, money and effort trying to make our decaying frame look less like the temporary shelter it’s intended to be and more like an eternal monument to beauty.

But try as we might, we are impotent against the forces that will eventually drag us to the grave.

What if, instead, I worked as diligently to exercise my inner woman as I do my too-generous bottom?

 What if I poured truth and strength into my soul through the Word of God like I force-feed my tummy with smoothies and vitamins?

What if I decided that these brief moments left to me were too precious to waste on things that are destined for dust and I used them to invest in things of eternal value?

I’m not advocating gluttony or lazy living, but I am arguing that most of my time should be spent cultivating a beautiful soul rather than a beautiful body.

I’m looking forward to my new, perfect body-the one Jesus will give me when He restores and redeems everything this broken world has taken from me.  Until then, I’ll put up with this one, and work on my soul.  

 

 

charm

 

When Will You Be Over This?

Think back on the most awful thing that has ever happened to you.

Does it still hurt?  Do you still carry scars from where it pierced your soul and broke your heart?

Can you forget it? Really, really forget it?  

Has it shaped the way you think about life and how you conduct yourself today?

Are you a different person NOW because that happened THEN?

Now magnify that to an impossibly greater degree and you might have an inkling of how child loss impacts parents and their families.

I will never “get over”, “move on”, “cease feeling sorrow” or “forget what happened”.

My son is my son as long as my heart still beats.  If he were living, he would be part of my life.  Death hasn’t changed that.

I am learning to live with loss, learning to bear up under its unceasing pressure and learning to carry on and keep going.  

I am different than I was and different than I would have been if Dominic hadn’t left us.

But only heaven can undo this injury, only Christ in eternity can fully redeem this pain.

Cfamily never gets over the death of a loved one

Astonished. Again.

For in grief nothing “stays put.” One keeps on emerging from a phase, but it always recurs. Round and round. Everything repeats. Am I going in circles, or dare I hope I am on a spiral?

But if a spiral, am I going up or down it?

How often — will it be for always? — how often will the vast emptiness astonish me like a complete novelty and make me say, “I never realized my loss till this moment”? The same leg is cut off time after time.
C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

No matter how tightly I strap on my armor, grief sends arrows through the tiniest unprotected chink and pierces my heart.

Read the rest of this post here:  Not as Strong as I Look

 

Fear

C. S. Lewis wrote:

No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing.

A Grief Observed

It DOES feel like fear, and if I’m not diligent in resistance, that feeling can spread over my world like a dark blanket, blocking out the sun.   

I have never been a fearful person-as a three year old, I climbed what seemed a countless number of steps up the high dive and plunged (belly first!) into the deep end of the pool.

A little older and I flew upside down in an open cockpit biplane next to the mountains in Colorado-fanny pack parachute strapped on just in case we needed to abandon the aircraft.

I have traveled to countries where I didn’t speak the language.  Ridden less-than-cooperative horses, spoken in front of thousands and trudged through snakey woods-always confident that things would be OK.

But now I know by experience that things are not always OK.

Sometimes they are very, very bad.  

And they are bad in ways that cannot be undone this side of Heaven.

So I must continually remind my heart of truth:

that my Father loves me,

that He is in control even when things feel out of control,

and that He will carry me when I cannot carry myself.  

carry you old age

Ask Away!

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard or read bereaved parents second-guessing themselves.  They say or write:  “I know you’re not supposed to ask ‘why?'”

Baloney!  The Psalms are FILLED with “Why God?”

Questions are where the rubber meets the road in the Christian life.  

Questions are where I learn to submit my heart to the lordship of a God Who loves me and Who has a perfect plan even when all I can see is pain.  

Questions are the way I weed my garden of faith-they force me to choose between trust and doubt.

“There are those who say faith means you never doubt.  Those who live by the creed, ‘Don’t ask questions!’

But I say faith is exactly what you cling to in the margins of doubt–when you have exhausted all the possibilities that exist in the physical, you-can-touch-it world and yet you KNOW there is MORE”

Read the rest of this post here:Debate and Faith

Inseparable!

In the first days and months after Dominic left us I copied this verse dozens of times-in my journal, on notecards, on posterboard to plaster across the refrigerator and stick on mirrors and doorposts.

I had to remind my heart that even death could not separate my son from Him.  

That even the most wily schemes of the enemy could not rip me from the hand of my Savior and that even my own doubts or fears or questions were not stronger than God’s love through Christ to hem me in and keep me safe within the confines of His protection from eternal damnation.  

God’s Word is living and active.  

It is part of my inheritance in Christ Jesus and I can appropriate it for my own life.  When I am afraid and when I doubt, I try to repeat truth until my heart can hear it:   

“If God is for [Melanie and Dominic] who can be against us?

32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for [Melanie and Dominic]—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give [Melanie and Dominic] all things?

33 Who will bring any charge against [Melanie and Dominic] whom God has chosen?

It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.

35 Who shall separate [Melanie or Dominic] from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 

37 No, in all these things [Melanie and Dominic] are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate [Melanie or Dominic] from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 8: 31b-35,37-39 NIV

nothing can separate1