When I came home for Christmas this year, I noticed my cat Gigi wasn’t the same. She didn’t have her usual confident stride, she didn’t join us in the living room to hang out on the couch, and she definitely wasn’t running around outside chasing the butterflies.
My Dad told me that about a week ago, a tomcat infiltrated our back yard and attacked Gigi. He digged his claws and teeth into her and left an ugly wound. Since my parents didn’t know it happened, they didn’t take her to the vet right away. For days, Gigi stayed in her cage in pain. Finally, my Dad noticed she was suffering and took her to the vet.
The wound had swelled into an abscess, which is a collection of pus in the tissues of the body accompanied with swelling and inflammation. The only option was to slice it open and let all of the bacteria drain out. Otherwise, the infection would kill her.
My Dad said everything inside the abscess was really disgusting. You would think that the doctor would stitch up the cut afterwards, but in order for the wound to fully heal, you have to leave it open for days so that it completely drains.
Over Christmas vacation I watched Gigi just sit still and lick her wound. She looked like she was in pain, traumatized by what happened, sad, and weak. At times, we would just pick her up and pet her for comfort. It was hard to witness her suffering, but we knew that in time she would be her usual self, and we were just glad she was still with us, even though she wasn’t fully there.
During the week, I listened to a woman speak at a Christian conference on a CD. She talked about the section of verses in Psalm 147:2-3 “The LORD builds up Jerusalem; He gathers the exiles of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
It reminded me that Jesus is the only one who can heal our wounds. We often try to quickly stitch up the wound we received with everything else: alcohol, drugs, sex, money, or a girlfriend or boyfriend. Those stitches seem to work for a while, and they feel good. But eventually they fall apart and make the wound even worse. The abscess grows until it has to be sliced open again, and you realize that the wound is much bigger than before.
Now it is going to take twice as long to heal.
But there is still hope. Jesus is ready to tend to the wound….if you let Him. Will it be a quick fix? Nope. It rarely ever is, especially if the wound is deep.
Like the pus inside the tissue, all of the putrid sin that we’ve allowed to fill our lives with needs to be emptied out—completely.
I guess He needs to break us before he can put the pieces back together again, this time in the right way.
I’ve learned that if you find yourself in a place of brokenness where you feel hurt and wounded, it’s okay to let it sting a while. Allow everything to come out. Let the pus, blood, and water flow until there is nothing left, for as long as it takes.
The good news is, when you are empty, Jesus can fill you with all the good stuff he has for you. He can stitch you up with His love, and this time they won’t break. They’re indestructible. Nothing can tear those stiches of love apart.
In time you’ll get that confident stride back, you’ll leave the cave you’ve been hiding in, and you’ll go out and chase the butterflies.
Will another tomcat come out and try to tear you apart? Be sure of it. But this time you might have a better chance of seeing it coming. And even if another tomcat does get you, you’ll know which vet to go to. He’s the only one who is able bind up your wounds.
“The LORD delights in those who put their hope in His unfailing love.” –Psalm 147:11