I ran into a tree –with my face. When I mentioned this to my mother, she assumed it was with my car and I spent some time pondering whether that indicated she gave me too much credit or not enough.
I was walking down the sidewalk looking left because even though I’ve been told my entire life to watch where I am going, it seems as if all the interesting things are either to the left or right. To my left, a woman clothed in pajamas was begging a tow truck driver to remove the boot from her car. I was immersed in their interaction when the tree attacked me. The assault wasn’t like the one in the Poltergeist movie where the tree wrapped people in its python-like branches. It was a knock in the face so hard that my earring popped out and I had to sit on the sidewalk for a minute and say bad words while trying not to cry. Not sure which kind of tree attack is worse.
I have small cuts on my jaw and ear that can easily be covered with makeup and hair. It annoys me that they look so minor when hours later I can still feel the throb from the jarring hit. It seems like I should have an imprint of bark on my face or a dangling ear, but sadly, I look relatively normal. It made me think about the wounds we carry and how the ones that hurt the most are often unseen. This pulsating pain walks with us no matter which direction we are headed. Few know the extent of our injuries and sometimes we too ignore the ache of our wounds. We try to be tough. We try to move on. We think the heart heals as intuitively as our bodies do from injury or sickness. We assume healing will just happen without acknowledgment or effort the way bruises fade from darkness into nothingness. Yet our hearts were not made for darkness and nothingness. They were made for love and the consequences of that ability to stretch and surmount and pour out and let in — is a vulnerability to being hurt. Jesus knew this. He loved unequivocally and it motivated his willingness to suffer for us so that we could also know great love.
Jesus bore a great cost and willingly endured physical and mental anguish in the name of love. Despite his suffering, he didn’t wallow in the wounds of life. He rose from them. He transformed them from brutality into the beauty of redemption. Pain in life is inevitable but we don’t have to carry it with us. Through him, we can heal. We can redeem it. We can help others do the same. We don’t ever really know what anyone else has been through, what pain they have been hit with, or what they’ve had to walk away from. And, that’s okay. Not everyone has to be attacked by a tree to feel compassion for someone else. We just have to know that no matter where our wounds originate, walking into his loving divine arms, is a place for healing to begin.
Read More: Joy of Faith (and ice cream)
I hope this finds you well, friends. Tomorrow I am taking my son to college for the first time. I worry more about how I will do without him than he will without all of us. Right now, being attacked by the Poltergeist tree feels easier than managing to say goodbye. Any advice? ~love, the mama with a missing piece of her heart!