The great leap ahead on the clocks yields time for late afternoon and early evening walks. Yesterday, walking into the setting afternoon sun was a superbly temperate tease: spring is O so close – flowers, tulips, wisteria, geraniums waved, and many flowering trees quivered in warm breezes. Emerging after several chilly rainy days, we agreed our little neighborhood looked good, smelled good, and it sure felt good to be moving! Tonight we got a later start – the sun slipped below the horizon line – but its warmth remained as shadows deepened. I could smell the wisteria before I could distinguish it dropping over the outside of a high privacy fence.
But just as we rounded the corner and headed home, I felt a familiar chafing on the side of my foot -- my old shoe, the exact same one I wore yesterday, was rubbing a blister, and I still had half a mile to go – in the dark, and the battery was waning in my flashlight
Good grief. Old shoes don’t rub blisters! What can so change in 24 hours that makes something comfortable become an irritant?
Warmer temperatures? Maybe. More likely a reason, no socks on feet that haven’t walked this fast in a few months!
A blister means I did something wrong – and it is a wound I can’t heal by ignoring. (Jeremiah 6:14) A blister needs tending or it will become infected. As a child, I ignored a blister on my heel – or I accommodated the discomfort – or I could not identify the pain’s origin – until a red streak running up the back of my leg from the point of the blister got my mother’s attention.
In my life, I’ve ignored blisters on my soul that come from habits, hurts and hang-ups that rubbed me raw, the way my shoe rubbed my foot – and the results have been predictable. Now, sometimes, I let stuff go because I was lazy, or the pleasure was worth the pain for a season or two. Sometimes I was too uncomfortable or unaware to ask for help.
But when I did ask, God answered showing me the wounds I had not – would not -- acknowledge. It’s an on-going treatment – one that reminds me as much – or more -- as life has rubbed me raw, I have aggravated others, rubbing wounds on their hearts.
One of the best aids that coming to faith in a power greater than I, has been learning He guards me from falling, and is on-call, 24/7. (Psalm 121) And the best thing about learning He has a name, Emanuel, Jesus, God with us, is He has the right balm for all my sores and wounds.
The first step before seeing the raw sore:
· Stop pretending the wound isn’t there, or doesn’t hurt – mine or theirs. Then, take off whatever is chaffing – or cry out for help to get the “shoe” off! (Ephesians 4:25-32 )
· Next, follow directions – as you would clean out a blister, apply meds and a Band-Aid, confess, repent, and if needs be: ask forgiveness, or bring the grievance you feel out into the sunshine.
· When possible, make restitution for the harm if you have done another person. And forgive, as you have been forgiven.
Healing a blistered and wounded heart comes with two steps:
· Agreeing with God, there is a problem, and
· Following His directions. (Isaiah 58:8)
Infected wounds may take longer to heal than we would wish – sometimes life has a way of re-opening wounds. Sometimes we don’t follow directions God lays out about healing broken relationships. (Matthew 5:23; 18:15; Galatians 6:1-2) Every once in awhile, we rip off Band-Aids, too soon, impatient to get going – the same way I feel about not missing a day walking in this beautiful weather! Have patience with yourself and others.
An earlier patience tutorial