My mother sustained a nasty fall a while ago resulting in a deep gash that required fifteen sutures. In order for the arm to heal properly, the doctor sent her to a center for wound therapy. I never knew such places existed. They specialize in keeping wounds clean, protecting them, and minimizing scarring.
The writer-researcher in me wanted to know more about this new phrase. Wound Therapy. “Wound.” Something that hurts. Badly. Not like a scraped knee on the sidewalk. More like a gouge from a screwdriver or a rusty nail. Ugly, bloody, filthy, life-threatening even. “Therapy.” The execution of a plan to fix something on the body that broke and to heal it, or if such a plan is impossible, implement an agenda designed to improve the functions of an impaired part of the body.
So when I put the two words together I created a definition: Wound Therapy: A deep, bloody injury that will be healed or helped over a period of time by following a schedule of specific actions for said purpose.”
I called my mom and asked her to describe the therapy she received.
“What do you want to know that for?” was her bewildered response.
“I want to write about it.”
“You’re kidding! What’s to write about?”
“I want to compare physical wound therapy to spiritual wound therapy,” I replied. “I think there’s a connection.”
I pictured Mom shaking her head in mystification. “Doesn’t having a crazy writer in the family keep your life interesting?”
She agreed with a chuckle.
Here’s the gist of her explanation.
1) They cleaned the wound of debris and removed dead skin. A nauseating thought.
2) They applied sterilized gel then bandaged it with telfa.
3) With each successive visit they took a picture of progress and repeated the procedures.
As the wound closed, it had a “crystallized” cover, which the doctor expected to see, and Mom could wear waterproof bandages, “Saran Wrap” she called it, so she could go back to her swim aerobics. With every appointment, she knew she was in competent hands and trusted each professional who worked on her.
Jesus is the ultimate Wound Therapist. Whenever my soul has been injured through my own foolishness or by evil beyond my control, I go to Him in prayer and receive healing by following specific procedures that He recommends. I can choose not to follow His counsel, but my soul will take longer to heal, if it heals at all, and I’ll carry some jagged scars.
When I come to God in tremendous pain and my heart is bleeding profusely, the first thing He does is calm me down. His soothing presence alone takes away some of the agony. Then He goes to work examining the wound and cleaning out the detritus of sin, sterilizing the open cut with His Word. Oh, that can sting! I may squirm or try to pull back, but His skillful hands don’t let go. He continues to work, with or without my cooperation.
One prayer appointment is not enough for complete healing. Sometimes, Jesus meets with me several times a day prescribing specific exercises as a particular wound heals. Perhaps, I need to fast and pray; perhaps, He directs me to a wise scholar whose insights I need to contemplate. He often uses other believers in the process. With each visit, the wound closes, and the Spirit protects what is still tender.
If I refuse to follow His instructions, I will limp along in life until I decide He is the Great Physician, and His way is better than mine. When I obey in faith, I heal more quickly. Eventually, the scar becomes barely noticeable, the pain a distant memory. I move forward strengthened by Christ’s Wound Therapy.