I rang in the New Year with a bandage on my hand.
In addition to the normal flurry activity and busyness that comes with the holidays, a mishap in the kitchen added the complexity of a large, second degree burn that rendered my right hand pretty much useless.
Due to the immobility of my dominate hand, wrapping gifts, cooking food and doing all the Christmassy things took extra long and required more energy than normal. As a result, by the time the New Year made it’s appearance, I hadn’t thought much about resolutions. Honestly, I was mostly thinking about the clutter in my house, the words and stories in my head that I wasn’t able to type, and I was dreaming of the day the pain would lessen.
But there was one more thing running through my head. The miracle of our bodies. Can you imagine how horrible it would be if our skin didn’t regenerate? A second degree burn would cause a serious medical condition!
But here’s the deal, just because it truly is a miracle that my body is currently growing bright pink skin to fill in the hole where hot oil destroyed the old skin, it’s still a [very] painful process.
The miraculous isn’t always pain free.
I was reminded of this very truth last week when a cashier at the grocery store looked me in the eye and blurted out, “This was the worst year ever, my Grandma was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.”
The more she shared, the more my heart ached for this woman, her grandmother, her family, and especially her little brother who was having a hard time understanding why Grandma wouldn’t get better. Her pain was so deep it led her to seek comfort in a perfect stranger. A stranger who, unknown to her, knew all too well the road they were going to travel.
I find it hard to believe this was just a coincidence. I believe it was a sacred moment, an opportunity to pray for her specific needs in a way some others may not be able to.
When it comes to the destruction caused by cancer, the miraculous has, and still is, taking place in my heart. Where everything was once dead and burned from the pain of loss and widowhood, new life has been regenerated. The gaping hole that was left when Luke died is no longer raw and bloody, needing constant bandaging and care. But, much like the bright pink, new skin on my hand, there’s still tenderness.
Most likely I will always carry a physical scar from the burn and an emotional scar from the loss. But when I look at those scars, I can hear my sweet, 11 year old son telling me a scar just means you have a story to tell about how brave you were.
Seven days into the New Year, I finally decided on my resolutions:
- To wholeheartedly, with joy and abandon, recognize the miraculous.
- To wholeheartedly, with joy and abandon, embrace the scars because the story I have to tell is of the love and faithfulness of our God who heals, regenerates and restores.
As you journey through this New Year, remember that just because there’s pain in the process, it doesn’t take away from the fact that a good God is working a miracle in you!