Watching the Wound Heal
Blood dripped out immediately. I felt no pain, but my arm was obviously in shock. My shirt was covered in saw dust from sanding the staircase in the new house, so I hunted for a section that was mostly clean to wrap around the new wound. Dial soap and a thorough washing was next. As I expected, the wound quickly woke up and feeling returned to my shocked epidermal layer.
The cut, sleek and clean, like a very large paper cut, extended a little over an inch on my outer forearm. I still am not sure how it happened, but in our busyness of construction duties, the chisel was bumped at just the right angle, and it fell straight down from the stair railing onto my arm.
I’ve watched the cut, that should have been stitched, slowly heal all week. Each day the skin extends a bit closer to the other side and the scab grows thicker. Some days—especially ones filled with sawdust, sweat, and dirt—I wrap my arm securely with heavy bandages to protect it from the elements. Every time I remove the wrap, I thoroughly wash it with soap, even though it stings and is tender to the touch.
As I watch my wound heal, I recognize how sensitive that part of my arm is. I go to great lengths to protect it from everyday interactions with contaminants that normally wouldn’t bother my skin. Extra efforts have also been extended when I get dressed or bathe, making sure I don’t accidentally bump my arm or rip the scab off in my normal activity of the day.
Having a fresh wound on my arm is a reminder of how it feels to have a fresh wound to my heart. Until that part of my heart is healed, I am going to have a sensitive, vulnerable place that is easily hurt and ripped open. Words, actions, or attitudes that normally wouldn’t affect me suddenly hurt in ways I never imagined. The rawness of my wound gets bumped and opened at the slightest interaction and I find myself constantly wrapping myself up, hoping not to get ripped open.
Wounds take time to heal. Both physical and emotional. Watching them heal can be a painful process, but it’s important not to neglect the protection part—it’s okay to wrap them up with extra padding from time to time. But open air is also part of the healing process too. We can’t wrap it up so tight that we cease to let ourselves live a normal life. Our wounds cannot dictate the direction of our life.
One day it will be a scar and the extra caution can be avoided. But until then I’ll watch the wound heal. And stand in awe at the healing power of our great God who can regenerate, heal, and cover every wounded part of my life.