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Bumps and Bruises

IMG_4521The other day I noticed a huge discoloration on the back of my left hand. When I touched it, I realized it was a hefty bruise.

In addition to the swelling, it has taken on a kaleidoscope effect of changing colors.

Russ asked me what I did to it.

I have no idea.

A person would think if I hit the back of my hand hard enough to cause inflammation and deep bruising that has lasted a week and is still quite tender and visible, I might remember the initial injury.

But I have no recollection beyond the residual pain of the healing.

I wonder if this isn’t a bit of the frustration we encounter out there as our lives mingle in and out with others.

At times, we all carry bruises from past encounters.

Maybe we don’t even remember the initial cause…but we have tender and marred places.

We try to protect them or hide them as we wait for the closure to come; waiting for the complete healing.

And it doesn’t really matter how we got hurt.

We just want to get  better.

From time to time, Russ forgets that the bruise is there and he reaches over and squeezes my hand. I jump and pull my hand back, and he apologizes for forgetting.

Perhaps I need to remember when I reach out to someone and they pull back emotionally….there may be a wound that is healing…a bruise that needs some time….

Perhaps we all could extend grace to those around us who may be in the process of healing.

It makes me think of Paul’s encouragement to us in Ephesians.

 Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.  Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.           Ephesians 4:2-3   New Living Translation (NLT)

Our church is finishing up a sermon series on grace…and the gracious loving and living that characterizes those of us who say we are Christ-followers. Firstdecatur.org has recordings of the sermons from this series.

If you are feeling bruised…or tending bruises on a loved one…I invite you to take some time and listen to the teachings from the book of Romans on grace…because GRACE is what this hurting, bruised, damaged, searching-for-healing world needs <3

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