Sunday, October 3, 2010

Like pulling off a bandaid

Last night, as I was making my usual rounds on Facebook :D, I came across this article rather indirectly. A few of my friends recently became fans of the blog, so I was curious to find out why. I skimmed the post titles until that one stopped me in my tracks. Broken and child in the same sentence--I knew it was going to be a tear jerker but decided to read it anyway.

I've had a couple of conversations with different folks throughout my life about childhood. Their childhoods, my childhood--all very different, and yet pretty similar in some respects. All of us wanted acceptance and stability. Basic needs that are rarely met these days, or so it seems. And before the conversation with these folks comes to an end, I usually say the same thing: "Dysfunctional adults are just hurt children." It sounds like such a hopeless statement, like an excuse for the vicious cycles of abuse and unhappiness to continue, huh?

But it doesn't end there, or at least it doesn't have to.

I later stumbled upon this article. The need to appear perfect--I agree that's a disease many of us suffer from.

It seems that as hurt adults, we only have one characteristic that distinguishes us from the children we once were. What's that? We've learned how to keep our bandaids on permanently. Anger, depression, or knowing how to perfectly appear perfect replace Johnson and Johnson in our world of invisible emotional bandaids. When a bandaid's been on for this long, it really hurts to tear it off. It almost become a part of our identity. But healing can only happen when it comes off. When the raw wound is exposed, healing begins.

I don't know about anyone else, but I make excuses to leave the bandaid on. What if it gets worse, and I have an even bigger infection to deal with? What if others judge me? Let's say I admit to struggling with a need to appear perfect, and I admit my struggles, but I'm still criticized for those struggles. Then I'll want to put the bandaid back on. If anger is my bandaid, what will be my defense mechanism when I take it off, if I'm judged for revealing who I am?

I am aware that there is a healer who will not judge me. He sees the bandaids and the wounds beneath them. But I'm just beginning to understand that fully. I can't imagine taking off the bandages without being able to trust that healing will come, and that I will be accepted for who I am.

I understand that many can't or don't want to view God as their healer precisely because they feel he will judge them, or because, sadly, his supposed "followers" have judged them already. But this is the truth: God will not judge because he, above everyone, knows that the bandaid isn't you, and that the wound beneath the bandaid was inflicted by someone who was also hurting. It's encouraging to know that when God sees us, he acknowledges the wounds and bandages, but he also sees our potential.

Why? Because when he sees us, he sees perfection; a new creation. There is a reason for this: It was by Christ's wounds, the ones he received in love by those who could not love, that we are able to experience healing in the first place.

Fully comprehending that is a life long process. I still have my fair share of bandaids. Ironically, many of those have to do with not having a father in my life, but I would have many more had I not known my spiritual one.


Anonymous said...

I could not agree more with what you wrote and the analogy is perfect.

I often find that it is hard to stand before others with "exposed" wounds because then there is the possibility of rejection {ouch!}. Rejection...a wound I need to work on. ;)

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