the pain of removing a sliver
Nothing struck horror in the heart of my children more than their mother approaching them with a glistening silver needle between her fingers to remove a sliver from their finger. I know what they were probably thinking, (actually, what I thought as a child), "Leave it, it will grow out eventually. It's really not that painful." The thought of the process of removing the sliver brought more pain than the sliver itself.
But, as parents, we knew the sliver needed to be removed to avoid the risk of infection and to remove the pain our children would feel every time something touched the area of their wound. Some things are just necessary, no matter how painful; necessary for us to function normally, necessary for us to be at our optimum us.
The pain of rejection can be agonizing. The pain of rejection by someone in authority can be even more agonizing. It is a sliver in our hearts. It's one thing to be cast aside by a peer, but quite another to be hurt or abused by someone put in a place of honor, someone considered a standard. But it has happened to many of us.
We've all been hurt. We all need healing. We all have slivers we need removed from our hearts, lest we find our pains repeating themselves. We will not be able to function normally, we will certainly be unable to live at our optimum us if we don't find healing from these injuries.
Our past will continue to affect our present, unless we've been healed; unless we've had the sliver removed from our heart. If we refuse to face our past hurts, our emotions become sensitized, and as we face similar hurts or rejections, the sting of pain becomes cutting, overwhelming. Just as the wounded area around the sliver in a finger becomes very sensitive to touch, so go our emotions. Just as we look at all wood as a potential source of painful slivers, so we view all authority, all sources of our past pain.
But remove the sliver, bring healing to the area of pain, and the next time a similar hurt or situation arises the past no longer plays a part in our emotions; we become a person who can face our situations with reason and with peace. The sting is gone; the past forgiven. It no longer holds us. We face our situation with caution and with wisdom, but without fear and miserable expectation. We become free.
Time does not heal all wounds, it simply covers them up for a later reveal. But God does heal all wounds. His love covers an abundance of sin; of hurt. But we must be willing to face the fact that we've been hurt. And we must be willing to allow God to remove the sliver. We must face the pain. But not alone. For God is the one who goes with you and He does not reject or hurt. In Jesus' words,
"...whoever comes to me I will never cast out."
Is it worth facing the pain to be made well? I asked my daughter Beth if she was glad that my wife did remove those slivers, and I am confident that your response will echo my daughter's as you receive your healing, "Yes I am."
Thanks to Heidi Rose for contributing the images for this blog ...