You know that ache? The one that you hold in your body when someone or something is gone from you, when an injury happens, when things come crashing down? For me, the ache resides just below my heart, embraced on either side by my ribcage so that when I breathe in it feels as though that ache could shatter bone.
You know that ache?
Think about that ache and where you feel it. Put your hands on the place, the place that holds the pain you feel.
When the wound is new that place is empty. When the wound is new the pain is the ripping away, the open flesh, the missing piece. When the wound is new all we can do is stem the bleeding. We hold ourselves tight around the middle, hoping the pressure is enough to keep our life from spilling out.
When the bleeding stops that place is waiting, dry. When the bleeding stops the pain is the waiting, the clotting of life blood and the reality of the severed nerves and torn skin, the fear of never healing. We begin the process of knitting our selves together again. We clean the wound, we stitch as we’re able and put our trust in the design.
When the wound is sealed that place is filling. When the wound is sealed the pain is the reconstruction, nerves rejoining, muscles meeting again, skin scabbing. This is the pain of filling and yet some wounds take longer than others to fill. Some wounds we fill ourselves with fear and doubt, disease and dirt because the empty and the waiting are too much to bear. We don’t trust the design, we don’t clean the wound. We choose the gaping hole over the fear of the needle needed to bring skin to skin. When we face infection we have to reopen that place and tend it once again.
Beloved, what I want most to tell you today is that we are wounded and we are healing. Look for your injury, put your hands on that place. It is important to know what made that wound, yes. Today, though, instead of asking why or how it happened just pay attention to the empty, the pain, the waiting, the filling. Pay attention to your wound. It’s vital, you’re vital.