I was tugging my 2-year-old’s shirt over his head this morning when he whimpered from the nasty scratches on his wrist from digging in the backyard with Dad. “Oh, was that your arm, Sweetie? I’m so sorry.”
He whimpered again as I kissed it. “I want [to] leave owie outside!”
I smiled for the poor kid, and had to explain that the bummer was, when we get owies, they stay with us wherever we go until they’re healed.
It was a good reminder for me of the many people milling around me who still have some unhealed hurts in their lives—Christians included. And it reminded me of something I’d heard: that we may criticize someone for his limp—and we’ve all got at least one—without seeing the thorn in his shoe.
I was struck awhile back when my mom told me about a girl from high school that, aside from tremendous amounts of God’s grace that He heaped on me in that troubled time, had made me wish I’d spent my freshman year under a rock. (I’m sure a lot of you have had a “mean girl” in your life.) The process of completely forgiving her took me literally a couple of years. But that day, my mom told me that she’d read in the paper awhile ago that this girl’s parents had gotten a divorce after she’d left high school. During the time she’d been making me feel the smallest, her home had likely been in turmoil.
This reminds me of what I learned in social psychology back in college: When we see someone else mess up, we tend to attribute it to their poor character; but when it’s our mess up, we tend to justify it with our circumstances. What a good reminder to accept God as Judge, and to be people full of the grace that we ourselves have received—to forgive as He’s forgiven us.
May you know God as Healer in many ways today.