The Sling

In the beginning of January, I fell on the ice.  Initially, my hand hurt and I even wondered if it was broken.  But the next day, my hand, although swollen and sore, was obviously ok. The ache in my shoulder, however, was just beginning.  I called my brother-in-law {conveniently, a surgeon} and had a little phone consult.  When asked to describe my pain, I wasn’t sure what to say.  It just hurt.  I could do everything I needed to do and nothing made it hurt worse; but nothing made it feel better either.  It was more than an ache.  Is it a sickening pain that won’t go away?  Mark offered.  Yes!  That’s it, exactly!  I replied.

A sickening pain that won’t go away.

I wondered when it would happen.  I wondered when the day would come when I would forget how many weeks it’s been since Dad’s death.  Just as hours became days, and days turned to weeks, now weeks are months.  And the grief feels quiet and private now, almost too personal to share.  It’s the wanting to call him and hear his voice and get his opinion and knowing that I can’t.  It’s even wanting to pray for him then realizing that I don’t need to anymore.  He doesn’t need prayers–his very being is a perfected prayer.  What a wonderful Truth and Hope. But as we approach the 365 days without my dad, as beautiful and True as his now perfected life is, the grief still persists for those of us left on this blue sphere.

A sickening pain that won’t go away.

Back to the pain in my shoulder.  I had to wear a sling.  I hated it.  It wasn’t the confinement that I detested, it was the attention.  I didn’t want people to know I was hurt or healing or needed anything.  Ugh.  My pride rearing its ugly head again.  But I had to wear it so I could heal.

And when we lose someone, we have to grieve so we can heal.I don’t mean just muscle through days and weeks so time will pass, I mean actively engage in the grieving/healing process even though it hurts. When we experience loss or trauma of any kind–A sickening pain that won’t go away–we have to process and work through it, so we can heal.

Only you don’t get to wear a sling for your heart-ache.

The walking wounded surround us. They can’t or won’t tell you, but if you take time to listen and observe, you can hear it in their words and see it in their eyes.  Every individual we meet carries some degree of burden: grief, physical pain, emotional heartache, broken relationships, losses beyond comprehension and soul-wounds so deep, sometimes they don’t even realize they are there.  And we all live and react to others from these places of hurt and pain.  Oh, some people cover it up pretty well and have become masters of denial or avoidance or have learned advanced survival skills.  But others, for whatever reason, carry their hurts close and the sores fester.  And we all wish we could have slings for our wounded hearts so others could see it and ask about it and treat us with patience or at least give us grace and time to heal–because we’re hurt, after all.

So, I guess my point is, that today, when someone is rude or snarky or offensive or “hiding”, instead of getting defensive or angry or judge-y, maybe we can picture their wounded heart in a sling and respond with grace, patience and mercy.

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6 Replies to “The Sling”

  1. You, your mom and sisters, and your extended families have been on my mind all day. Sometimes the sickening pain comes out of no where. Be gentle with yourself, and feel your wonderful father’s embrace.
    Diane

    1. Thank you, Aunt Diane. We’re beyond thankful for the loving legacy dad left and also for the peace and comfort God continues to provide. Thank you again for supporting us last year and being a constant encouragement to mom.

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