The birds are returning in the backyard. In the last week, my Rising Sun Redbud has gone from purple blossoms, to apricot hearts, the color now in various shades of chartreuse. Nature is not missing a beat in this radical shift. In fact, there are many stories indicating a healing is taking place.
Sitting on my porch this morning, I was thinking about healing. I was thinking about mending, recovery. My children, and other voices online are talking about a return to normalcy. I am hoping for more.
I have memories of my grandmother mending items of clothing. The time in which she was reared was one when things were not easily discarded. Whether because of financial means or availability of resources, if the item was deemed necessary, and mendable, she would take the time to return it to use.
I remember when I first learned the phrase, darning a sock. When a worn out place on a sock finally gave way, rather than throw the sock away, you could repair the area and return it to use. Ideally, you would find thread or yarn of a similar shade and carefully stich the opening back together. With careful stitching, the sock would now be even stronger, reinforced, from the mending.
As a child, I wondered why you would take the time to darn a sock instead of just replacing it? With time, observations, and conversations, I began to understand. For my grandmother, for many, thoughtless discarding was unthinkable.
A month ago, I would have said that was not common in our world. In our country and culture of immediate gratification, we rarely take the time to mend things. We discard items for the newer, faster, shinier. The appliances we purchase don’t last, perhaps purposefully, so that we need to replace more frequently. This is a challenge for me. I lean toward frugal, I hate the environmental cost, and I suppose that I still hear my grandmother’s words.
I wrote the introduction to this piece weeks ago. I mistakenly thought that our new schedule would allow for more writing. While I often walk away from fleeting inspiration, this Easter, I cannot shake the idea of mending.
In Isaiah, there is a chapter that foreshadows the coming of Christ, his purpose, his wounds. The New Living translation says, “But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.”
We are not cast away or replaced. There is no desire for anything newer or shinier. We are healed. We are mended.
We mend that which we deem worthy.
And just like the sock which has been darned, the stitched wounds, the internal wounds, we do not return to “normal.” We are changed. Reinforced. Stronger where we were once weak.
In John, Thomas is told that Christ is risen and he cannot believe, he won’t believe, until he sees his scars.
24 One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin),[a] was not with the others when Jesus came. 25 They told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”
26 Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”
28 “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.
29 Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”
He saw his scars. He knew Him by his scars. His scars would forever serve as a reminder of the love, the perfect sacrificial love.
Each of us carry scars. Emotional, physical scars. Those scars are reminders of where we have been, what we have been through. They serve to show us that we are stronger in those broken places. That we have been mended. That we are worthy.
This Easter, let that message ring through you. You are chosen. You are worthy. You are loved. Let those scars serve as a testament to who you are, who you were, and the healing, mending that is available to all.
27And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, 28so also Christ was offered once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him. Heb 9:27