A few weeks ago, I decided to get a new ACL (the old one saw its last leg skiing in Colorado on a run called ‘The Lower Ambush’ of all things). Surgery went well, but when I finally removed the remainder of the bandaging after 10 days, a part of the incision started to bleed a bit. Of course, this worried me, as I thought I might have re-opened the wound. So I had a friend of mine (who happens to be a health care provider) check it out.
It turns out that the way you assess whether an incision is healing well is to lightly jostle one side of the incision to see if the other side moves along with it. (Hopefully that makes sense, otherwise the rest of this might be a little rough.) So down the length of the incision, my friend jostled one side, then the other, watching for any ‘weak spots’ where the two sides moved independently of one another. We ended up rebandaging the incision to let the sides continue to heal together, but big picture: it was fine.
Physical incisions are but an outward display of the wounds of the heart. Fear of being alone, fear of being unloved, fear that I am not understood, or fear that I am too much...these all have their days in my life, and they manifest themselves in so many little ways that I worry they are unable to be healed. Though it’s uncomfortable, God makes it clear that he is able to find these fears, these wounds. A wise friend related it to me this way: God comes into every facet of my personality (which he LOVES by the way), and freely pours His love. He listens for his love to echo back to him from my heart, and based on my response, he is able to find places of woundedness.
God: I love you!
Me: Let’s talk about something else.
God: I love you!
Me: Okay...but seriously, there are ways I reject you that I don’t even want to give up.
God: I want to be with you!
Me: But what will happen to me if I let you near me? This can’t be good.
He calls, and my response is there but disjointed. It doesn’t match his call. One side of the incision is tested, and the other does not move with it.
When they heard the sound of the LORD God walking about in the garden at the breezy time of the day, the man and his wife hid themselves from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. (next part is summarized to mirror the situation above)
God: Where are you?
Adam: I heard you, but I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.
God: Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree?
Adam: The woman that you put here gave the fruit to me.
God: What have you done?
Woman: The snake tricked me.
Adam and Eve don’t even answer the questions God asks. God calls, and their response is disjointed. One side of the incision is tested, and the other does not move with it.
Like any good friend, spouse, health care provider, or parent, God does not want me to think it's normal or good to walk around with a limp, an open wound, or tears brimming under the surface. So he zones in right to the place of woundedness. He does not leave me unattended, but stays with me way past the point I think he should; he is not afraid of my weak response. He will continue to call, until I respond with wonder at his faithfulness to me. He will never stop calling. He is well aware that it is he who loves first, and he will continue to call with great hope that, by simply letting myself be loved, I will realize I am loving him in return.