I hate when people throw band-aids at me for gaping wounds. I especially hate, no, I abhor in fact, when people throw scripture verse band-aids.

When I’m bleeding I want to feel my faith rush upon me even as it seems to ebb away. I want to feel God’s hands on me, cleaning and binding the wound…I do. I rely upon it. Having someone throw a bible verse at me though never seems to bring that feeling my way. It trivializes the words there…tells me I need to sit down and shut up…tells me I’m wrong to bleed when I’ve been slashed with a knife. It tells me that this person has no idea how to minister to my injuries.

A wise friend once demonstrated to me the best parenting bit ever. When her child fell down and started to bleed my friend went to her. Put her hands upon her gently, cleaned the wound as the child cried and the friend said very simply and lovingly, “Oh yes, I know this hurts. I’m so sorry you’re hurt.”

Her words and actions here don’t stop the bleeding, they start the healing. Acknowledging the hurt is the beginning of healing. My friend easily could have said what so many parents have been saying for years, “You’re not really hurt.” “That’s not a big wound.” “You’re ok.” “Just stand up and walk it off.” “Stop complaining.”

The thing that bugs me about my pain and being thrown a verse though is deeper than that…it’s “Stop complaining…God said so.” I don’t know that version of God. In fact, I believe better, the God I know is the one who FIRST rushes to me, puts His arms around me and whispers, “Oh, yes…I know this hurts. I’m so sorry you’re hurt…” and then begins the cleaning of the wound…because the healing doesn’t begin with the band-aid, it begins with the embrace.