I used to live in Oakley, recently moved to Pleasant Ridge.
When I lived in Oakley, I had a neighboring family that was your traditional mom and dad with a little boy and a little girl. The boy, I’ll call him Bart (because that’s his name), was maybe 5 and his sister was just a couple years older.
One mid afternoon day I’m working from home and I’m on the phone, talking business and all of a sudden notice flashing red lights outside. I say to my buddy, ‘looks like there’s an ambulance on my street’. As I go to the window, I notice it’s CLOSE, as in ‘one of my direct neighbors’ close. Then I notice the flashing lights are in front of my house…and then I realize that there are people in my yard. I hang up and go outside.
Outside there’s a chaos of events going on and a bunch of people have gathered to watch…and in the middle of it, are two EMTs that are trying to take a look at Bart, who’s crying and yelling, and limping around. The EMTs are befuddled and somewhat comical as they are trying to get him to sit down, let alone sit still, with the seeming inability to actually touch him. 10 feet away his mother is on the phone with her husband and in hysterics and crying and not knowing what to do or how to handle the situation. The only thing not making a sound is Bart’s bicycle laying in he grass with a bent tire and front end. Bart’s been hit by a car.
So Bart is limping around and crying and these paramedics are trying to get a look at him. BUT (big but) Bart’s hurting and scared and won’t let them. Every time they try to get him settled down and sit still they touch something that hurts and he jumps up and screams and tries to get away from them. And because no one is telling Bart what he should do and he’s exercising his free will, and keeps frantically moving away from the EMTs.
He’s scared and confused
His bike is wrecked
He doesn’t want to be hurt or scared…he doesn’t want them to examine him because he doesn’t want to find out if he’s hurt
He doesn’t want there to be pain or understand if there’s consequences or what the future is…he just wants to pretend this didn’t happen, that he’s not hurt…and he sure as hell doesn’t want these men to check him out and tell him any different.
I’m watching this and realize that his mother can’t cope with what’s going on any more than Bart can. Because I know the family, I step in to help with Bart.
For a minute, I was an uncle, a dad, and I get Bart to settle down. He knows me but he’s scared…we finally settle him enough to let them check him out….but it’s not easy and he doesn’t want it…he doesn’t want to listen to me…but I get a little more stern and mentally he gets there. He screams and cries and wants this all to stop. He wants to be ok, to go on with his day, to pretend this didn’t happen and that he’s ok. He doesn’t want to be hurt.
But me and the EMTs get him to sit still. They assess the damage. They know what the next steps must be…and much to the dismay of the crying boy, he needs X-rays and professionals to evaluate him at the hospital.
He doesn’t want to go, but with a lot of crying protests, he gets put on a gurney, put into the ambulance, and taken to the hospital.
Within a few minutes, the ambulance and mom are gone and the bystanders filter back home as the surreal scene dissolves quickly.
The bike lays in my yard.
Later that day, he came home from the hospital…he had some bruises and a limp…but he was going to be ok. I told him his new nickname was ‘Crash’. He wasn’t sure he liked that nickname, but I was amused, which was all that was important at that point.
As it turns out, the car that hit him….was actually the car that GOT hit. Bart was on his bike and rode out onto the street without looking.
Bart had caused the accident. HE had hit the car, which then just about ran him over.
I hadn’t thought about that story in a while until this morning in my quiet time.
In the stillness, God brought the story back to me…remembering the moments of taking in, as a spectator, this child who’s world was crazy and hurting and confused…how there were professionals who wanted to help him, get him to sit still so they could assess the damage, address the hurt. I remember his confusion, his denial, his desire to have all this go away, go on as though nothing had happened.
God showed me something that I didn’t want to see: I (we) have been Bart so many times in life.
Sometimes it’s an accident
And sometimes it’s deliberate, cold, and barbarically brutal.
….And we are hit like child on a bicycle and our shiny world collapses for a moment.
Sometimes we shake it off and move on because it really wasn’t a big deal.
the carnage and destruction are wounds that really hurt us, crush our hearts, break our spirit…and we are hurt beyond our capacity to heal on our own.
And like the boy, we cannot deal with it, we burry, ignore, and cover up the pain, don’t get help…we go on as though nothing happened.
But it did.
When we get hurt, really hurt, like Bart, we want
go on with life and say it doesn’t matter
We tell ourselves “I’m good”
We tell ourselves “what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger” or “it is what it is”.
But, if we haven’t healed the wound properly, it festers deep within us…and privately, in our hidden rooms, we don’t get over it.
It comes out in anger towards a spouse or a slow driver in the fast lane.
It comes out as an addiction to alcohol, sex, or FB likes
It comes out in a lack of trust of men.. or women.. or dogs..or relationships
It comes out in panic attacks and anxiety and worry (which are all just words for fear)
It comes out in ways that separate us from God
If you’re reading this and something instantly comes to mind
…that one thing that happened a while ago…
…that persons face comes to mind…
…that terrible incident…
then maybe the medic (THE Medic) has tried to help you but you won’t allow Him.
God wants to address the hurt, wants to help you heal completely…not just cover over the wound.
I ask you to sit down…quiet your mind…take out all the cares and voices that are in your mind…and ask God, the Healer, into that place….back where THE INCIDENT happened, and let Him minister healing there.
You don’t need to carry this anymore
You don’t need to limp through life
You don’t need to ‘suck it up’ or ‘get over it’
You just need to heal
Bart ended up with a new bike, some physical boundaries, and a valuable lesson.
I can’t guarantee that you’ll get a new bike but maybe you’ll get a new cool nickname like ‘Crash’.
Sit still, let the Father take a look..this will only hurt for a moment…and then you can heal properly.