My youngest had an unfortunate battle with gravity yesterday and let’s just say it took her down. Nothing broken that the x-rays revealed, but a follow-up appointment was made, a sling purchased, and she got a nifty ride in a hospital wheelchair.
Her left elbow and foot played her like a wind instrument this morning. Each exhale an “Oooch. Ooouuuch. Oof. Ahhhh.” It’s not a funny soundtrack, but there were moments when I could hear my own groanings coming out of her 2nd grade mouth and I would smile a little. She’s fine. I’m allowed.
Anyway, there was something that struck me as I observed her physician. There are very few circumstances in which I can watch someone cause my child pain and not have my hackles raised. Yesterday’s appointment was one of those circumstances.
As I listened to his steady voice, witnessed his gentle touch on her arm and leg, I had no impression other than that this doctor wanted to help my child. So when she winced and he released his pressure, when she let out an “ow” and he paused his motion, I didn’t move. I let him touch her, watch her face for her response, and I didn’t object.
I admit that I pray for the touch of God in my life, but sometimes it feels like God’s tool of choice is a 2×4. Patience, humility, trust- whatever the lesson, it seems that God needs a blunt instrument and a good amount of force to get my attention.
But if I am to believe Jesus when He says, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9), then I have to admit that a 2×4 isn’t what God needs to bring me to my knees. Just like all the other folks in the Bible, all I need is a word, a touch.
While the doctor at the clinic yesterday was searching for possible breaks, the Great Physician already knows we are broken. We are the ones who seem to forget it. We either think we have it together more than most people, or that those other people have it all down simply because they can hide their messes better.
But God doesn’t call us to be the spiritual WebMD. It isn’t our job to diagnose ourselves or anyone else for that matter.
We are all broken. We all need the Healer. Period.
And while it certainly is an effective time-suck, dwelling on every detail of our brokenness, rooting out every reason that other person is so very broken in that partiular way, is just toxic. I can’t even read my own heart and intentions, so what makes me think I have reserved the right to read everyone else’s?
It conjures images of Curious George wearing a white lab coat, hopping from exam room to exam room ooh-ooh-ahh-ing at each patient while they nod in compliant confusion. Dear Lord, please hinder us from complicity in creating a world of Dr. Georges.
A great many of my confessions could simply read: Excuse me, God? Yeah, I’d just like to hand you back your white coat and stethoscope. I thought I’d try ’em on, but turns out I’m pretty clueless with all this heart-reading business. My bad.
Also, His lessons don’t come from being under His thumb. No 2×4 necessary. If God so much as smacked me with a fly-swatter, I’d be down for the count. His lessons come at His gentle touch- a touch that might not feel great at the time, but that’s ok because we know that He loves us.
Please hear this: God’s love for you will bust down any and all obstacles to your heart. Removing a heart of stone and replacing it with a heart of flesh is no painless process. But He does it with a gentle tenacity. With a steady hand and unstoppable mercy.
He pursues your heart in a way this world will never understand. And it is that truth that we must cling to when our pain tells us that God does not care. So if you are feeling the pain right now, embrace the reminder that your broken body and soul rest securely in the hands of a God who loves you in a million ways you don’t even know. His words are life and His touch brings healing, always. He is careful with your heart. You are His precious child.
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.John 10:10
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.Ephesians 3:16-19