I was thinking about the different kinds of wounds today.I’ve long since come to understand that we are all living as wounded souls in one way or another. Everyone has a deeper story, and nothing is as it appears on the surface.I thought there must be as many different processes of healing as there are wounds.And, for as many times and ways I have tried to heal myself, I know the one constant that remains in any true and complete healing, is the One true Healer ... God. No matter how many times I have foolishly rejected His way, His faithfulness to heal us comes in as many different forms, time frames and processes as the wounds themselves.We have only to call upon His name.But the timing is His… and there’s the rub.I cannot count the times I have called upon His name only to find that He has said “wait,” and my vending machine mentality of God seems to get jammed.How many times have I impatiently said “I want it now,” and, for lack of the desired Divine response, taken matters into my own hands?… as though I could do better.Forgive me, Lord.
I was reminded of my mother’s ‘open wound’ healing after her surgery to remove her large intestine when she was 87 years old.Her abdominal incision would not heal.It had become abscessed and the infection nearly stole her life.When the doctor explained the repulsive process of the open wound healing, I was aghast.I had never heard of this before.Aren’t all incisions just sewed shut? The answer was no.My immediate response was to reject this form of healing.Painful. Disgusting. Too long. Unacceptable.I did not know that some incisions must literally remain open and very gradually heal from the inside out.The process of continually packing, cleansing and nurturing the wound several times a day would require constant care and supervision.
So, it is no wonder how deeply moved I was when I read this prayer of Mechthild of Magdeburg, a medieval mystic nun from the 12th century.To me, her words will remain in my heart as a vivid reminder of the way Christ himself will lay into our open physical, emotional or spiritual wounds to heal us the way only He can do.We have only to ask, and wait.
I will tear the heart of my soul in two
And you must lay therein.
You must lay yourself
In the wounds of my soul.”
Mechthild of Magdeburg
1 Peter 5:10 (JB Phillips)
... and after you have bornethese sufferings a very little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to share his eternal splendor through Christ, will himself make you whole and secure and strong.All power is his forever and ever, amen!
Lovepats... maybe this would be a good time to explain the title. My name is Pat and my last name begins with the letter "S." That's easy enough, right? So naturally, if I had a CB radio, my handle would definitely be "lovepat." Even though, I supppose that name could be misconstrued; I fondly remember my mother's lovepats. As a mother of 10 children, she could calm any distraught child with her simple embrace, her lovepat, and a "there, there, now." So, "lovepats" bring me a certain amount of comfort and I share them with my children and the people I love. Lovepats simply speak a language of love and comfort. It's all about the touch and the connection. Lovepats encourage and say "everything will be alright," and "I love you."
As I looked up this word in the dictionary, I found it didn't exist. That was discouraging. Well, the word "pat" is defined. It has many definitions as a noun, verb or an idiom. Among other things, it is an expression of encouragement... as in a "pat" on the back.
I remember when I was very young, I looked up my name in the dictionary. Imagine my dismay as I read "patty... a small, round slab of meat." I was hoping for something a bit more endearing, if not sophisticated or glamorous. Nope, a small, round slab of meat. There it was. Now, thankfully, it was not a self-fulfilling prophecy and I came to understand the beautiful meaning of "Patricia" the female form of the latin word "patrician" meaning a person of nobility or high rank. Alright then, 'nobility' had a certain elegant ring to it, and I was pleased. But the fact remained, that growing up in my catholic school, there happened to be 4 of us 'Pats' of different genders in one class There was a Patty, Patsy, Trish, Patrick, and I got stuck with being called "Pat." The only people who called me 'Patty" were my Mom and Dad. It was a charming term of endearment and I secretly cherished it. Other neighbors and family friends liked to call me "Patty Duke" or "Pitty Pat" but that was just for fun.
For the purpose of this blog, I hope you find my words encouraging... like 'lovepats." I hope you somehow sense through my "LovePats" that everything will be alright, that you will find we have a lot in common on this journey as we travel through the dailyness of living. That you will find yourself, as I do, comforted and loved by a very Great God... no matter what. I find joy in bringing you LovePats.