Drew darted back and forth, trying to maneuver the blue and yellow ball at his feet. Sweat beads lined his freckled forehead.
A few days later, as he held the black bat in his hands, I reminded him of the proper batting stance. He’d have to practice to get accustomed to a new sport that others his age had been playing for years. Anxiously, I could see the determination in his eyes, looking forward to his first real opportunity to run to first.
Normal kid stuff. Boys were created to run and to play, and most parents don’t think a thing about it. I know I didn’t before February 15, 2014.
But when your healthy 7-year-old boy breaks his femur in half, you don’t look at normal boy activities the same anymore.
With the hard pounding of legs running on grass, with every quick dart in a different direction, with a mindless step from an open to a closed stance, a little bit of my soul rejoices. My mind can’t help but flash back to the time when I couldn’t get Drew’s pants down for him to use the restroom without him screaming in pain. When I had to use every bit of strength I had to help him in the shower while holding his broken leg taut so no pressure would cause agony. When I had to force him to do exercises if he wanted to walk without a limp.
I’ll never look at my healthy son the same again.
Health doesn’t feel quite as sweet unless you’ve experienced healing after brokenness.
Watching Drew made me think of how true that statement is in a much broader scope.
Brokenness can come in many forms. I was broken when I first had Drew. God has broken me to identify pockets of pride in my life. I pray my friend is broken over her sin. I think most of us can identify this in our own lives by asking ourselves, “When have I felt the most broken?”
The next question becomes, “Am I healed?”
Have you come to God, helpless in your brokenness, and allowed him to do the sometimes painful act of healing?
Drew’s first step in healing was one of the most heart-wrenching experiences I’ve had in my life. In the Arkansas Children’s Hospital ER, the medical staff had to pull his leg so his bone would go from two parallel lines to one solid line. His little, normally shy-around-strangers voice screamed through tears, “Please stop pulling my leg off!” What he didn’t know was that this pain was the essential first step, preparing his leg for surgery which ultimately ushered his healing.
Sometimes healing hurts. Letting God into those places you’d rather not admit to, or places you can’t even bear to go back to yourself, can be excruciating.
But what if you don’t?
Many times my mind considered what would have become of Drew had we not had access to medical care. Perhaps someone could have set the bone. At best, he would have probably had a limp for the rest of his life. He may not have ever fully regained the ability to walk. Life-threatening infection could have set in.
Such is the one who avoids the hard task of healing from brokenness. Never fully healed. Never running the race he was meant to run. Limping through life at best. Dying defeated at worst.
But one who is healed!! He runs with vigor! He smiles at life! He has a view of health that few others can see! He lives his life in gratitude of the one who healed him completely!
My mind can’t help but reflect on Jesus’ response to the Pharisees after they condemned Jesus for putting up with this sinful woman who wept repentantly at his feet. “Therefore I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; that’s why she loved much. But the one who is forgiven little, loves little” (Luke 7:47 HCSB – Read the full beautiful story in Luke 7:36-50).
Oh broken one, do you see your potential for great things in the Kingdom of God?
Have you been fully healed, restored? Healing doesn’t mean no evidence remains of brokenness. Drew has two 2-inch long scars on his knees that reminds us every day of his prior state of brokenness. But instead of focusing on the scars, I focus on what they remind me of. That healing came.
Have you, healed one, come to truly understand your worth? Instead of feeling shame, trying to forget that season of brokenness in whatever form it took, have you let God take your healing and use it for good?
Only a good God can make beauty from ashes. Embrace the beauty that is yours. The beauty of rejoicing in healing. The beauty of understanding another’s pain. The beauty of endurance that came at great cost.
Tonight Drew begins 5 straight days of soccer or baseball. (What was I thinking?) But it is beautiful. I may be frazzled to the core come Sunday but it’s all worth it. Seeing him run and kick and throw and swing will never look sweeter.
Because healing is worth celebrating.