This morning as I was getting dressed, I began to rehearse a familiar memory of something that caused me much pain. I do that sometimes, you know. I bet you do, too.
I remembered the hurtful words spoken, the feelings of rejection, the ugly attitudes (both mine and theirs), and the penetrating wounds I incurred. I winced at the ugly behavior…again. I wondered what I could have done differently, should have done differently. I realized that while I might could have done things differently, there is nothing to be done about it now. Even that realization stung.
Faces flashed before me. Words played like a long-play album with a scratch, repeating over and over without end, until I willfully moved the needle by refusing to listen anymore. Feelings of betrayal, loss, grief, confusion, and even anger resurfaced.
I thought I’d dealt with all that stuff.
I did deal with all that stuff.
But like the scar on my right shoulder that will forever mark the incision of a simple surgery, the scars of this and other wounds sometimes catch my attention, and I stare a little too long at them, reflecting on their sources, contemplating the events that surround them, and even feeling tinges of the original pain all over again.
I’m not someone who nurses a wound, generally. I honestly deal with my hurts and bruises with the healing balm of Truth. I’ve discovered that’s the only way to keep from growing multiple weeds of bitterness in my heart and thus choking out the love of my God. I want to keep fertile ground in my heart, so I truly try to practice the disciplines of forgiveness, reconciliation, and repentance.
But sometimes, like this morning, the scars catch my eye in the mirror and I, human that I am, stop what I’m doing, take my eyes off Jesus, and glare at them.
This morning in Jeremiah 8:18 I read: