Friday, June 3, 2011

Band-aids and caulk

I live in an apartment. It's slightly larger than a bread box and it's adorable. I have a little patio that is perfect for cool afternoons in the company of a good book and a glass of white. I also have a sneaking suspicion that the whole complex was built in about a week. There are little flaws here and there that I've noticed and chosen to block out. But then, it rained. And around my window, the rain came inside. So not the point of windows.
Well, I know (because this happened with my other window) that they can't fix it while it's raining. So, I waited. The rain left, the carpet dried, and an irrational little voice in my head thought, "Maybe it won't happen again."
Ah, but here's the catch. Buildings don't heal themselves. So, after the next rain-soaked carpet day, I notified the office that I needed repairs.
Which got me to thinking, how cool is it that bodies heal? That our cells regenerate and your run-of-the-mill injuries like, oh I don't know, fingers used as doorstops that have turned an ugly shade of black cherry, will go away of their own accord? That, in most cases, cuts, shaving nicks, bug bites, scrapes, even sprains and strains, will heal? And if anything is left at all, it's a faint scar.
Even as I type this, there's a petulant voice in the back of my head, saying, "Not always, you know."
True. There are definitely cases where medical intervention is the only hope. I would still argue that with that help, the body's ability to regenerate is what makes the ultimate wholeness possible again.
"Yeah, but ultimate wholeness isn't always possible."
I know, petulant voice, (that always sounds like my own voice, but deeper, with greater inflection and often and acerbic flavor) I know. But it's better than nothing.
Look at our poor defenseless souls. They have no ability to regenerate or self-heal. It occurs to me that our souls are more like apartments than bodies. They are affected by the elements. While the rain may dry up, when the next storm comes our souls will take on water and start to mold.
There's an old hymn that talks about Jesus washing us white as snow. I always visualized a bright red robe going blinding white. Cool enough, but our sins aren't bright red. They're more like my ugly finger. Blackish. Probably scabby and reeking of the smell of infection. They're sore and oozy and contagious. They crust and crack and then crust again, building up a putrid layer of yellow and black.
Ah, again Jesus to save the day. He is the Great Physician (and a carpenter!) We talk about this a lot when someone gets a scary diagnosis. But I think it's just as vital for our souls. We can hide wounds, He can heal them. He cleanses the wound of scabs, reveals the hurt and the breathes healing over us. Wholeness. We don't have to have scars. We don't have to "bear it." We can be whole. Not by any work of our own, but by the incomprehensible power and grace of our God.
Lord, let me realize the depth of what you've saved me from so I might be bound ever closer to you.

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