Wound Care

“And one will say to Him, ‘What are these wounds between your hands and feet? and He will answer, ‘Those that which I was wounded in the house of My friends.”

Zechariah 13:6-7

These Messianic verses remind us of the statement we made a moment ago and that the wounds inflicted on Jesus left scars behind as evidence of the event, yet we know He prayed for the forgiveness of those who inflicted those wounds. Thus, according to Jesus actions, it is possible to be wounded or harmed by another and completely forgive them, yet still have the scars from their actions against you. It is also possible to be healed in your heart, mind and spirit yet still remember the loss or pain encountered early in life. I cannot underscore it enough that “remembering” is not “unforgiveness” or a lapse of faith. As friends and loved ones of those hurt by others we must be careful of demanding that they “put the past behind” just because we think they should. They may not have a gaping wound any longer but the scar remains. They may have completely forgiven their abuser but the scar remains. Remembering what happened to you doesn’t mean you have’t allowed God to work in your life, it means you were deeply hurt and have scars. It is needful to say at this point; The devil wants you to spend the rest of your life in wound care, immobilized and unable to function, and sadly this is what many do. If you keep picking at a wound it will stay a wound and never scar over. This is why our first chapter was the first chapter. Life happens, and when it is mean and ugly, some resist moving from wounded to scarred because they are stuck on one word… why? There are no good pat answers, everybody dies, it was an accident, they’re in better place, these are comments and they are all true, but they are not explanations. I do not know why God allows what He allows nor do I understand His method of choosing when to intervene and when not to. But this I do know, godly and faithful people experience tragedies and traumas in life and many have events in their past that have scarred them deeply yet they are used wonderfully by God and for His glory and for many of them, their scars are now their ministry. Yet even for them, someone bumps up against an old scar and though it is far less painful than it was in the past, it still hurts and that is ok! You can forgive things that you’ll never forget and if you have a person with a major scar in their life in the unseen realm of the mind or emotions, don’t treat them like the scar shouldn’t hurt and don’t treat the scar like a wound either. Let me add one more thing, picking at an old scar can open up the wound again and while we know that scar tissue is tougher than the skin around it, this may not always be true for the scars of mind and emotion, it can be, but isn’t always. Be sensitive to those who are scarred and if you are the wounded soul, recognize the things that hurt when your scar is bumped up against and prepare yourself for them and be careful not to allow yourself to slip back into long term wound care when though a quick outpatient visit may be necessary to deal with old scars and the wounds they represent.

We also need to keep in mind that God is not offended by our “why’s,” He knows and understands pain having seen His only Son beaten and murdered for crimes He did not commit. He “gets it” friends and He is there for you as you “pass through the waters.” As much as we need to be careful about putting a timeframe on moving from wound to scar we need to be equally as careful about never starting the process. There are things that happen in life that we will never have the answers for. I am thinking of a young friend with a child and another on the way and the beautiful young wife he left behind when an accident took his life. I don’t get that! I am thinking of a 24 year old young man who served our country in the military was killed at home while on leave, I don’t understand that! A dear friend and pastor, Chuck Smith, had shared counsel over the years with many that is a fitting reminder here and that is; Never exchange what you do know, for what you don’t know. Life brings things that we don’t understand, but at those times what we do know is that God is an ever present help in time of need. The transition from wound to scar has to have a starting point and the starting point is different for everyone but every shares one common element at whatever time this transition begins and that is, willingness. Until we are willing to accept that most of the why’s will remain unanswered and choose to move to the “what now” we will find ourselves mired in the land of the wounded for the rest of our lives. This is not God’s plan or best for any of our lives. There are a thousand why’s we will encounter in life and they will either own us or we will own them. Failing to move forward until you get answers to the unanswerable can leave you with a life experience that is one continual wound. The sexually abused have a scar they will never lose, the betrayed spouse has a scar they will carry through life. Imagine laying in a hospital bed refusing the leave until God told you why the accident happened. We would never do that even though we may wonder our whole life why something happened. The same principle must be applied to the emotional and mental (memories) scars of life.

While it is true there is no timeline for healing it is also true that the human body teaches us that wounds do become scars and therefore mobility and function can be restored even as the memory remains. The process initially demands great and constant attention but as the scar begins to form, less “intensive care” is required. When dealing with tragedy and trauma remember, there is no “official timeline” for experiencing the stages of grief, but there is a transition that must someday take place for your own mental and spiritual health and that begins by recognizing the difference between a wound and a scar. When the time comes be willing to transition by letting go of the why’s, as best you can, and move to the starting line and as your wound becomes a scar, you will being to learn how to Dance with the Scars.

Excerpt from “Dancing With the Scars” now available on Amazon.

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