‘Til my broken soul gets well

Til my broken soul gets well

Angled like a tree branch, both bones in my five year old’s arm were grotesquely distorted. An x-ray wasn’t necessary to diagnose the fracture and her daddy said, “This ortho stuff; it ain’t hard.” Tears dried on her cheeks and her lip quivered as she fought a battle for composure. That is until…..

Optional pain

When the IV catheter punctured her unblemished skin, she howled unconsolably. Though it was years ago, my recurring helplessness to take away her pain is fresh in my mind. Now track marks over my own veins tell the story of chronic illness. Every 21 days, a plastic catheter is threaded into a vessel in my arm through a metal cylinder and really, it doesn’t hurt that bad.

Surely broken bones are worth more tears…

The pain from the break was accidental but that tubing sticking out of her arm, well it seemed optional. So she protested, loudly. I get it. Life happens and it’s painful. People get sick, have accidents and die. Pain is a ubiquitous part of life.

But optional pain is excruciating.

We ask

Why?

What if?

Please…..

Make it stop

I can’t take anymore

My soul hurts

Proverbs 18:14, “A man’s spirit can endure sickness, but who can survive a broken spirit?” HCSB

Do they make casts for the soul?

Surely broken hearts are worth even more tears…

A rainbow-colored cast covered layers of cottony cloth which immobilized her arm for 6 weeks while the bones fused. Not only did it protect her from pain, it promoted healing.

Sometimes we have to be still in order to heal #broken Click To Tweet

Can somebody wrap me and hold me still for a while?

’til my broken soul gets well?

Psalm 119:80, “Oh, love me – and right now! – hold me tight!” MSG

DISTORTED

Dust particles sprayed the room as an assembly line of saw blades ground through fiberglass in the pediatric orthopedic clinic. The wide-eyed collection of kids awaited reuniting with their own flesh and healed bones. No one prepared me for sight of my child’s arm when she exited the room. Her bones sagged in the cast and instead of fusing in a straight line, her lower arm was shaped like a comma.

My life is punctuated by a comma too. I don’t know how the sentence ends, but I sure hate how it begins.

Proverbs 3:6, “In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” NIV

NEVER THE SAME

As she grew, her arm eventually straightened out, but not completely. You wouldn’t notice the palpable callous left from the swing set fall but if you rub it just so, it’s a little tender and you can feel the forever reminder.

I suspect the wound of my soul will be the same.

Psalm 143:11, “Revive me, O Lord, for Your name’s sake! For Your righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble.” NKJV

God will place the hot iron of His molding grace on the wrinkles of our souls when He needs to. He does this because we have been created in His image and He desires that we reflect Him well. He will allow the fire of testing to bring steam to our hearts

. ~Tony Evans, Detours (www.DetourBook.com)

Still isn’t easy

Optional pain immobilized me for a while. Action is my default mode, but every time I moved the broken places, I winced. Stillness is a class I fail repeatedly and keep retaking, on the other hand permanent immobility eventually paralyzes. Thank God His mercies are new every morning. He is in the business of restoration!

Psalm 31:7, “I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have known the distress of my soul.” ESV

Redeeming pain

Heartbreak leaves us permanently disfigured even when it’s invisible. Go ahead, rub it and feel the sensitive scar. Then never forget, what Satan intends for harm, God uses for good. He promised and although He allows commas in our past, breaks in our lives and fractures in our hearts, He always keeps His promises. He is forever faithful. A season of immobility is necessary for healing, but don’t stay there. Redeem your pain. by ministering to others. Now that I’m well, I can look you in the eye and tell you; I’ve been there and through God’s strength, I survived.

2 Corinthians 1:4, “He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” HCSB

What comma in your life can you use to minister to others? Why waste it? Redeem it.

 

If blindness is no excuse

WHY YOU CAN’T

You probably can’t pole vault. Pole vaulting is hard.  It looks exhilarating, but there are demands and even risks. I am a little partial to pole vaulters.  My son came within an inch of clearing sixteen feet.  Very few people pole vault, even fewer clear five meters.

Psalm 18:29, “For by You I can run against a troop, By my God I can leap over a wall.” NKJV

IT’S A GREAT SPORT

Pole vaulting requires intense focus, strength, flexibility, coordination and guts.  It requires a lot of guts.  The vaulter must run hard down the runway, plant an awkwardly long pole into the box (AKA hole in the ground), catapult into the air fully inverted then free fall and land on the pit.   It is a great sport for adrenaline junkies.

Proverbs 21:17, “You’re addicted to thrills? What an empty life! The pursuit of pleasure is never satisfied.” MSG

BUT IT’S NOT REALLY A GREAT SPORT FOR BLIND PEOPLE

Charlotte Brown is a Texas teenager who can clear eleven feet.  That’s exceptional for a high school girl.  It’s phenomenal for a blind person.  I’ve never met her, but I am confident we would get along.  She sprints down the runway and plants the pole when she hears a beep. Then she goes for it.  Eleven feet.  Look up. Most ceilings are eight feet high and remember she is upside down. Probably one of the reasons I am so sure I would like her.

Job 29:15, “I was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame.” NIV

DISABLED OR ENABLED?

Most people set limits for themselves.  We are convinced we cannot achieve a particular goal because we lack a particular ability.  Charlotte cannot see, but she is certainly not limited.  To pole vault, you have to train like crazy,  listen to coaches who know about pole vaulting and get the help needed to overcome any obstacles.  It’s hard and it can be painful.

Ecclesiastes 3:9, “What does the worker gain from his struggles?” HCSB

LIFE IS HARD AND PAINFUL TOO

When callouses rip off your hands leaving them raw, it hurts.  Twisted, swollen ankles make it difficult to walk and impossible to run.  Repetitive twisting can break your back, literally. These are just the set backs my son faced from pole vaulting. Most people never have the guts to try.  But just like pole vaulting, life requires focus, strength, flexibility, coordination and guts.  A lot of guts.  It is scary and there is potential for serious pain and injury. So what are we to do? My father always said,

Tweet: It is better to have tried and failed than to have never tried at all

Plant the pole and jump swing. Don’t make excuses.

There are reasons Charlotte can pole vault even though she is blind

  1. She is willing to try
  2. She trains hard and tries hard
  3. She overcomes her fears
  4. She has a really good excuse, but doesn’t use it
  5. Her limitations do not limit her
  6. She uses adaptive equipment and listens to her coaches
  7. She doesn’t listen to the majority who say blind people can’t pole vault

Exodus 3:11, “And Moses said unto God, Who am I , that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?” KJV

SEEN ANY BURNING BUSHES LATELY?

Often God calls us to do ministry way out of our comfort zone. Like Moses we reiterate the reasons we are not qualified for the task forgetting, or ignoring, He is the one with the ability. What are your limitations?  Do you have a better excuse than blindness?  As they say in pole vaulting,

GO HIGH OR GO HOME.

2 Timothy 3:17, “so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” NIV

I would love to hear how God has called you out of your comfort zone.