Wolverine has this incredible mutation that allows him to heal from… just about any wound, really.
It’s not that unbelievable really… the human body has an unbelievable capacity to heal.
but most of are not Wolverine. (which is probably a good thing… as awesome as they are, i think retractable bone claws might get annoying)
Which means… our bodies’ capacities for healing have limits.
We skin our knees, we cut our fingers, we stub our toes, we get viruses, our bodies become infected with bacteria, we suffer lacerations, we bleed… and our bodies simply do what it takes to recover. They produce antibodies specifically tailored to the infection we are facing, sends proteins and platelets, and the like to repair damaged skin and blood vessels… and amazingly, our bodies recover.
but sometimes we receive a wound that is too deep for our bodies to repair on their own.
sometimes the bleeding won’t stop on its own.
sometimes.. we need something outside of ourselves to repair the damage.
And most of the time… when our bodies require that outside healing… those are the wounds that are more likely to leave a scar… to leave that testament to the pain.. to the depth of the wound.
I can count the number of times my body has needed stitches on one hand.
My heart on the other hand. . .
The thing about our emotional wounding, is that similarly we have an incredible capacity to recover. The “resilience” of the human spirit is often marveled at in the wake of unspeakable tragedy when we see beauty rising from ashes, when we see children carrying on after terrible abuse… when we see a spouse whose heart continues to beat after she has lost her husband.
The trouble is that the bleeding from our emotional wounding doesn’t usually happen in vibrant, thick crimson that is so hard to ignore. It’s more like an internal hemorrhage–the damage is devastating… and imperceptible for a long time.
We can suffer terrible wounds, and much like a laceration on our arm may not prevent us from walking and running and jumping (at least not physically) we carry on, giving no heed to our wounds. Without the bright crimson alerting us to our need for attention to the wound, we minimize and walk about in denial.
Reality is, much like our bodies need stitches or casts or even surgery to correct deeper wounds, our internal wounds often need attention as well.
And it may not be easy to get.
It might seem like more effort than it’s worth
It might hurt like hell.
but with time… it starts to heal.
maybe the wound needs to be clean. maybe gangrenous infections like bitterness, resentment, pride, self-rightousness, or hate have taken seed. The purging process isn’t comfortable. but once it is complete, it feels sooo much better… and can begin to heal!
Maybe we need help to heal… like stitches or a cast… and the process of resetting what’s been broken or cut… it hurts… it’s not easy… we’d rather just not touch the wound and look away and hope it’ll go away. but it won’t, and so we deal with it. we talk about what is not right and do the hard work of making it right. it takes courage, strength, support, and… probably tears…
but then it can begin to heal.
and it might scar… and for the rest of our lives, we may remember how we were wounded.
but maybe these scars can also be reminders. Reminders of the way that we were supported and upheld by a community… how we were connected… how we were loved.
but that… see…. that requires that we take the necessary risk of sharing our wounds with others whom we trust are equipped with what it takes to support us.
Today, I am struck by the reality that stitches teach us how we were created to be in community… to be supported… to be loved… to trust… that it is HERE that our healing takes place!