Not So Funny
Let’s begin with the not-so-funny part of this story, shall we? My right leg hurts.
Yes, it hurts, and it’s been hurting for a while. As a matter of fact, it hurts to cross my leg over my left knee, rest my right foot over my left, and even to walk. Generally speaking, my right leg – most of my tibia – aches.
That is why I went to an Orthopedic, yesterday. I wanted him to discover the source of the pain and to tell me whether or not I can go back to walking. Come to find out, the pain is muscle and ligament-related. The muscle that lies deep behind the tibia, along with the tissue that attaches to the side of the bone, is inflamed.
The sad part is that had I gone to a doctor about this pain a long time ago, it wouldn’t have had to get this bad.
The Funny Part
But here’s what I find amusing (I hope you do, too). When the doctor pulled up the x-ray, he pointed to some cloudy images on the bone. He asked, “Do you remember any trauma to your leg?”
“Uh, no, not really. Why?” I asked.
“Well,” he began, “do you see these two cloudy-white areas on the bone? This is evidence of a healed fracture. At some point, you broke your leg.”
Yep, you read that correctly – I broke my leg and didn’t even know it, or at least I couldn’t remember when I did it. Either that or I didn’t think much about it at the time.
Who has their leg broken and doesn’t remember it?
Now I Remember!
After a few minutes of discussing the pain in my leg, how to fix it, and such, a memory popped into my head. Totally changing the subject, I interrupted the doctor and exclaimed, “I think I know when it got broken!”
Back in the late ’80s, I was heavily involved in martial arts (the real-life Cobra Kai kind). I remembered this one time when I was doing drills with a new student, a BIG guy, who knew nothing of “control.” To keep the story simple, he did a round kick the same time I did, except with a good amount of power. Our shins locked with an audible “whack,” and for several days I walked with a limp.
Imagine that! I fractured my leg and didn’t even know it! Well, I felt it, for sure! However, I didn’t have a clue of the severity of the injury – I just kept working out.
Eventually, I healed.
Time, Tibias, and Trauma
Before I say anything else, time does not heal all wounds. However, most wounds do heal over time, even the painful ones.
Only a fool discounts the severity of an injury, whether it be physical, emotional, or spiritual. And when it comes to trauma, what is terribly painful for one person might not affect another the same. Every trauma, every pain, every wound, though very similar – like one snowflake is similar to another – all are unique.
But the discovery of my long-forgotten battle wound has led me to ponder some encouraging truths.
- Time can heal memory. For some people, the wounds of the past are as fresh today as they were 30 or 40 years ago, therefore the pain never goes away. But when we learn to focus on moving forward, given enough time, most of our hurts will heal and the pain, even the cause, will be forgotten.
- Some trauma NEEDS to be forgotten. My broken leg incident probably happened between 1984 and 1985. If I had been talking about it, rehashing it, trying to figure out the why and how it happened, the trauma inflicted on my right leg would continue to afflict me, and others.
- I’m so glad that, because of the blood of Jesus, God has chosen to remember my sin no more! Can you imagine what eternity would be like if the wounds inflicted by us were never put as far as the east is from the west? Yeah, it would be Hell.
- Sometimes we are more broken than we realize. Fact is, my leg was broken and I didn’t even know it. It wasn’t broken in two . . . there was no bone sticking through the skin . . . but imagine what might have happened if I’d locked shins again in a tournament? What kind of life-threatening situation might I have faced? …and without a Mr. Miyagi!
Better than an Orthopedic
I’m sure we could go on and on with analogies and comparisons, but the fact is that all of us are broken in one way or another. Some know what complete healing is like, while others are still wiping away the initial tears.
Ultimately, Adam’s sin was the ultimate trauma inflicted on mankind; it left ALL of us broken. Unfortunately, though the healing balm has yet to be applied, many, many, many broken people don’t even realize their brokenness.
Then finally, there are those – praise God! – who are pleasantly surprised to be reminded of how God healed wounds that were once so painful the future, even survival, looked insurmountable. Sadly, some of those broken legs were brought about by our own rebellion . . . NOT the Shepherd.
Yet, isn’t it wonderful how He rescued us, picked us up and carried us until we healed, and never even brought it up again? Or did you forget?
Thank you, Lord, for this pain. I needed to be reminded of some things.