Recently, a caught-in-the-headlights willy-nilly deer ran into my daughter. You read that right – the deer hit her. Well, not her but her car as she was driving home around midnight from her evening shift as a hospital nurse.
The stupid deer literally plowed into the passenger side of daughter’s car causing damage that necessitated a trip to the auto body shop.
It’s not the first time someone in our family, including myself, has tangled with those woodland creatures. Blessedly, none of us ever were injured in these deer vs car collisions.
I know many people out there think the white-tailed deer that populate my neck of the woods are so cute and endearing. Bah. If you think that, you’ve never encountered the absolute scare-you-out-of-your-skin and make-your-heart-startle moment when they dart across the highway in your path.
According to some car insurance sites, last year’s statistics show that my state is the third most likely place in the US to hit a deer and the odds are 1 in 57 that you will do so causing on the average about $4000 damage to your vehicle.
Oh, dear deer!
But you know what the positive side is? Your damaged car can usually be fixed. Yes, it’s inconvenient. Yes, it’s a pain to have to call your insurance company to report how that stupid deer ran into your car. But as long as the vehicle is the only thing broken, it’s fixable.
Wouldn’t it be nice if a broken heart could be as easily mended? Hammer out the kinks and dents. Slap a little putty on it. Prime and repaint. Or if the damage is more extensive, just get a new part like the new fender on your car. Voila! Good as new!
But it doesn’t work that way, does it? Just the other day while steeping my morning cup of hot tea, I noticed the little saying on my tea bag tag. Usually, I’m in a rush and don’t pay attention to the quotes printed on those tags, but I read this one and it caused me to stop and think.
What breaks in a moment may take years to mend.
Hmm. Wisdom from a teabag.
The emotional trauma we suffer from the words and actions of others isn’t mended in a jiffy, and in a moment, it stops us in our tracks just like suddenly spotting a deer as it crashes into you.
The damage isn’t always repaired even if we receive an apology for the wrong done to us. And if the apology and remorse from the one who broke our heart never comes, it can take years to ‘get over it.’
Or we never do. We never seem able to fix what’s broken, but I think that is by choice. Our own choice. Our choice to continue suffering in the pain of what shattered us. Our choice to allow what damaged us to overwhelm and defeat us.
“Healing doesn’t mean the damage never existed. It means the damage no longer controls our lives.” ~ Unknown
I speak from experience. As a person of faith, I’ve found myself crying out to God way too often asking Him why he doesn’t heal a loved one’s broken heart, or why He doesn’t take away the pain betrayal causes in another, or rid the anger from my own heart over an offense, or….the list goes on and on.
It would be nice if God would just act like a genie and grant our wish for heart healing in an instant or wave a magic wand over the parts of us that hurt and immediately we would experience mending.
But He doesn’t work that way. Not that He can’t heal us in the blink of an eye because with God anything is possible. Jesus said so in scripture (Mark 9:23): “Everything is possible for him who believes.”
Yes, the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-encompassing God of the universe could easily touch what is broken and mend it in a moment, and sometimes He does. But I think He asks us to do some of the work…ourselves.
I think He desires for us to examine ourselves, examine our own hearts that may harbor bitterness and unforgiveness. I think He asks us to present our brokenness to Him with no strings attached, meaning we give it to Him and don’t snatch it back later so we can stew some more over it.
I think He lovingly disciplines us and, if we truly want to receive that healing, that mending, that repair of the heart, then we must open our hearts completely and fully to be filled with Him. Because only faith in a Savior can truly fill those gaping holes in our hearts. Can repair the damage done. Can make us brand new.
“He heals the wounds of every shattered heart.” ~ Psalm 147:3
The walking wounded are everywhere. Shell-shocked souls who have been hurt beyond belief, who are shattered by despair, emotional pain, broken relationships, and broken lives.
They walk through this world with huge holes in their heart wondering if they will ever be mended again. So they turn to alcohol or drugs or sex or whatever ‘magic potion’ makes them ‘feel better’ for the time.
Anything for that quick fix which is anything but a quick fix.
My prayer is that those of us who know the way to be mended step out of our comfort zones, step out of our churches, step out of our Christian bubbles, and reach out to the hurting and share how Jesus can mend our broken hearts.
Because we’ve experienced it ourselves and with God’s help have leapt over the very thing that caused us to be wounded.
“A wounded deer leaps highest.” ~ Emily Dickinson