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This picture, taken on Day 5, seems to show me taking this purple martyrdom a bit too far...and the extent of this bruise grew for two more days, until it covered the entire back of my right thigh.
...but this is week six since the sledding accident that saw me impaled on the broken-off branch of a hidden log. Lesson: trailblazers can get hurt!
And yet, there is a deeper lesson...
...one that is learned after the bruising is gone, and the sutures are removed, and all the scabs have fallen away: the wound that cannot be seen, yet was the deepest and most dangerous, is far from healed.
But it looks so much better! Yeah, looks can be deceiving....
I still cannot sit down or put any pressure on the back of my right thigh.
Really...after six weeks?
The doctor says it may take three month for the internal wound to just stabilize...and six months to finish reconstruction...and nine months for full range of motion...and a year or more for strength and the lessening of the scar tissue and any accompanying adhesions. Ugh!
I have never had a wound like this...it's exhausting. But I am going to be well in time. And I am going to remember these lessons. The sharp stabs and the aching and the shocks as nerves reconnect. And I will marvel at the brilliance of God's creative masterpiece with humility and gratitude....
So that when I see the wounds of others, I will remember the deep pain. I will listen to their pain and frustration. I will remember how long it takes to heal.
And I will shed tears of seeing over them. So they will know they are not invisible. Their pain is seen with gentle eyes that know woundedness.
And I will not make them have to ask for my help. To see if they can do things for themselves. There will be hours and days when they have no one to pamper them...when they will have to spend so much energy just shifting to be comfortable in bed that they break out into a sweat.
No, no...love that submits to their needs with deliberate affection, and grace that serves with unmerited favor, and mercy that initiates kindness mutually owed...this is what perichoretic cHesed does when one's beloved is in need.
But more than what small comfort I can give, I hope to remind them that our amazing God -- Father, Son and Spirit -- are I AM THAT I AM. They are the Present Presence...always there with us in our pain and suffering. Not to save us from our suffering, but to walk through it with us.
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You still have time, during this season of Lent, to pick up Penelope Wilcock's lovely and insightful book, The Wilderness Within You. I finished it yesterday and am going back to make notes of the many profound insights she shares. I picked up Present Presence from this book...and it has been such a bit of comfort to me! This is a woman who gets it -- and I am grateful to have her friendship.