I got six stitches and a nice black eye last week.
The more dramatic story involves Sherwood Forest, a short battle, a crushing defeat, and a knight in shining armor. The short version is that I was moving fast and ran into a six inch square vertical pole face first.
Last week, I assisted with drama camp at the Performing Arts Center (PAC) of Front Range Christian School. Sophie, my daughter, not only wrote the original script, Adventures in Sherwood Forest: Boots, Beauties, and Bows; she directed it marvelously with 28 elementary school children.
She’s an amazing teacher of the art and craft of theatrical performance. My role encompassed assisting with registration, check in and check out each day, and taking pictures for the slide show.
Monday morning while the parents convened for the official camp parent meeting, I bustled about in the lobby area. After getting all the campers safely into the music room, I moved (quickly) toward the PAC. Turning and moving simultaneously, my head met the steel immovable pole positioned in the middle of the room.
Blood gushed from my head. Thankfully I did not pass out, and managed to slow the bleeding by applying pressure. Just before the parent meeting ended, I cleaned up the pool of blood.
Once the initial shock wore off, I looked at my wound and realized I needed to go to the ER right away. My husband, Gary (who just arrived home from Australia the day before), was my knight in shining armor. He dropped what he was doing, came and took me to the ER, where they cleaned, numbed, and stitched me up. Needless to say, I currently sport a colorful array of pinks and purples around my left eye.
Ironically, five years ago just before a FRCS music showcase in the PAC, Sophie ran into the same pole and split her nose open. Don’t laugh! :–) It’s true. She held it together, pulled off a courageous solo performance, and then we headed to the same ER. Clearly the pole and the Hoag women do not get along.
Stitches join the edges of a wound and promote healing. These little loop like threads mend what is broken. With steady skill doctors use stitches to repair wounds. While looking at the ceiling tiles of the ER room awaiting my first-ever stitches, I realized something.
We all have stitches.
We get them from Jesus. He repairs the wounds in our lives. His stitches take the form of forgiveness, restoration, redemption, transformation, and the numbing agent is His love. God’s love floods the gaping injuries, and stimulates healing and hope as He puts back together discouraged and disoriented lives.
The Bible contains numerous accounts of God graciously stitching up broken lives. Here are a few that come to mind: Saul the persecutor who would become known as Paul the apostle, the hemorrhaging woman, the blind men, Cornelius, the man on the mat, and so many more. My favorite example is the encounter between Jesus and Peter. This narrative reveals the beautiful stitching of Jesus.
During some of Jesus’ darkest moments of suffering, Peter in weakness and fear denied knowing, being with, and loving Him. Peter’s broken heart resulted in bitter weeping and defeat. The disciple, John, details the stitching together of Peter’s wounded and shattered heart by Jesus.
After His resurrection Jesus prepared breakfast for His disciples who were both spiritually and physically famished (John 21:9-13). He invited them into fellowship. Then, Jesus took Peter aside, asking questions of the heart.
With each question by Jesus and declaration of love and commitment from Peter, Jesus stitches together a crushed and fearful heart.
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”
Although the mending was painful, Peter received love, restoration, and a new commission with each purposeful stitch from the loving hands of Jesus, the Healer. Hope and healing treated this broken soul.
Reflect for a moment…
In what ways has God stitched your brokenness and wounds together with His love?
Is there an area in your life, you need to welcome the healing stitches of God?
How do the stitches you have received remind you of the restoration God brings to life?
Where has Jesus commissioned you to share the story of your stitches?
I have discovered stitches are gifts of grace in the journey of life.
With every stitch we realize that we have been pieced together by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The God of the universe saw our brokenness and sent His only Son to bring us the healing that could only be accomplished through His death for our sins on the cross. His resurrection assures our forgiveness and healing. Each day of our lives, His mysterious, gentle, cleansing, gracious ways result in our growth and His glory.
Embrace your stitches. Thank God for mending you back together. In the midst of your brokenness, Jesus offers this necessary and often painful work to promote freedom and restoration. Celebrate the gifts of hope and healing found in the stitches performed by Jesus Christ.
Drips from the Word: Muse about these Bible verses. Let these truths impact your living.
Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.
Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
Splashes from the Spigot: Drink from deep wells. Check out these suggested readings.
Brennan Manning. A Furious Longing for God. Elgin, IL, 2009.
C.S. Lewis. Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life. San Francisco, CA, 2017.