I notice that people don’t often ask me what is on my mind….perhaps after today’s reading, we will understand their wisdom.
This week I have thought a bit about paper cuts: those tiny little wounds, inflicted quite suddenly as we are exposed to the thinnest possible weapon; paper, of all things.
It is a shared human experience: innocently opening an envelope or putting a rubber band around a stack of papers and then; the sharp pain as we feel one quick slice to the finger or hand.
Our first instinct is to stick the injured member in the mouth, providing instant, although unsanitary, comfort. While the intense pain of the cut is disproportionate to its size, unless it is treated properly, it can become infected.
It makes me think of paper cuts to the soul. Those little slices to our hearts that come from an unexpected place. We can anticipate wounds in the heat of a battle, but these hurts come out of nowhere. A certain look, a comment, or something overheard, and ouch! We sense a sharp pain and sure enough, we have an emotional paper cut.
Like the injury to our finger, these are minor flesh wounds. They do no deep damage. But both, if left untreated, can lead to infection from the contamination around the wound.
For your finger, it means you wash away any germs that might enter the opening and then wrap it in a band aid until the outer protective layer of skin heals. For your heart, the steps are actually quite similar.
Minor heart wounds just break through places in us that are tender. Calloused hands do not get paper cuts easily. Neither do calloused hearts. Around these areas are potential “germs” of pride, self-centeredness, insecurity or any number of frailties that come with our humanity.
When we experience a minor hurt to the heart, we must take it immediately to the One who holds our hearts and ask Him to cleanse away whatever is in us that would contaminate this vulnerable place.
As we lift up the wound to Him, we can trust that He will cleanse away any sin that might be attempting to make entry into us. Once cleansed, we want to cover the wound with love and forgiveness toward the one who, most likely unknowingly, inflicted it upon us.
Our tendency may be to hide our tender hearts in unsanitary places when they are wounded. Instead, let’s take all our hurts, no matter how small, to the One who can heal us completely so that we can serve Him with a WHOLE and HEALED heart!