Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The Wound That Will Not Heal

I was wrong. Yesterday, at a prayer meeting at work, I completely fell apart. I have no idea where it came from, but suddenly I found myself sobbing in the conference room, because I missed Mom so much. The other men who were there gathered around me and prayed for me. That was good. But in the end, it still hurt. Dinner wasn’t much better. I wound up in the quiet room at home, curled up next to my wife, in tears. I love Lord of the Rings. Mom first gave it to me to read when I was ten or so, and I’ve read it many times since then. Each time through I discover more to love about those books. Among other things, Tolkien understood that sometimes the world moves on, and the golden days are lost, and there is nothing that anyone can do to turn back the clock. He knew about the wound that will not heal, that time cannot erase, the pain that grabs tight and will not let go. He knew that true healing could only be found in heaven. (Aside: this is why the Scouring is such a vital part of Lord of the Rings and why, IMHO, the movies ultimately fail to convey the weight of the story. Why does Frodo have to leave? The movies don’t communicate the weight of Frodo’s wounding and so cannot explain Frodo's passage into the West.) But, in the Gospels, when Jesus appears to His disciples in His resurrection body, He still bears the scars of His crucifixion. The renewed body of the firstfruits of the dead, the Exemplar of the Faith, still bears the wounds that He received here during His life. Why? Did the Resurrection fail to completely renew His body? I’ve heard this explained as something unique to Jesus, but, as I was thinking about this yesterday, I began to wonder if this explanation were wrong. After all, I don’t think that we will forget our sufferings here on earth. I wonder if the wounds and the scars that we gain here on earth will follow us to heaven, where they will be glorified. We will see our pain in its true context, and it will only lend to our joy. When Jesus looks at the hole in His hand, does He remember the faithfulness of His God in times past? Does this lead to His rejoicing in the assembly? (Psalm 22:25) Will this be the same for us? My pastor has said that we learn here on earth how to enjoy heaven. So perhaps I am not as crazy as I first thought. Maybe, in heaven, I will remember the pain of loss and be better able to rejoice in the endless coming home, the grand gathering of the saints, never again to be parted. And I will look at the scar of the wound that would not heal and rejoice that it has finally healed. But why does it need to take so long?


Blogger prairie girl said...


My heart has been really touched by your love for your mom and at how much you miss her. I am sure she looks forward as much as you do to that day in glory when you will be together.
Your comments remind me of how important my time is with my boys at home now. Thanks for sharing your thoughts....I will especially pray for you tonight, that God will continue to give you His perfect peace.

5/12/2005 10:09:00 PM  

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