Our God The Good Doctor
Author: Kate Schaber | www.kateschaberwrites.com | @kateschaber
There is no shortcut to healing.
No hidden detour for the elite.
No exemptions or badges of good behavior or VIP passes that allow you to skip the hard work and get right to the Glistening, Healthy, Wise version of you, without also being the Weak, Worn-Down, Ugly version too.
I don’t know much in my life. But I do know a few things for sure about God, one of them is this: God cares about your full, thorough, honest, health. God is not interested in just patching you up to be impressive enough or productive enough or so you can get back to Holy Work.
No, our God is a Good Doctor.
Our God wants to find the root of our pain and our self-protection and our hiding, and heal it.
And there is just no quick fix for that.
About a week ago, I burned my leg. While making my morning cup of coffee, I bumped a pour-over full of freshly boiled water, and it spilled onto my thigh. I was left with a pretty severe second-degree burn about the size of my hand, wrist to fingertips. I left urgent care with prescriptions and care instructions, and spent the following few days in shock over how intense the pain was from something that should have been so simple and happened so quickly.
HOW COULD YOU BETRAY ME LIKE THAT, COFFEE?
Every time someone asked what happened, I could tell by their responses that they didn’t understand how severe this burn was. “Did it blister?” “Ooh, ouch!”, were the most common responses, and I found myself over-explaining to have someone understand how much pain I was in. This only garnered grossed-out reactions (and rightfully so because yikes, who wants to hear those details?!) and recoiling. Those interactions were always awkward and isolating. I hated telling the same story over and over again, knowing this new listener wouldn’t understand and feeling obnoxiously repetitive with the people close to me who had heard this story what felt like 587 thousand times.
I would change my bandage twice a day, and each time I did, I felt nauseous and shaky, thoughts of disbelief running through my head.
Day after day, nothing seemed to be getting better, and I was sure (thanks to one hundred too many Grey’s Anatomy episodes) that my wound was going to get infected, I was going to get sepsis, and basically, I was a goner. Ah, the blessing of an active imagination. Thanks, Shonda.
During one particularly painful day, I cried to a friend about both my leg and my life. “This is all more intense than I’ve ever experienced. And I know it’s going to take a long time to heal. I can’t force it. I can’t rush it. It’s just going to have to be painful for a while before it gets better.”
Then, almost a week after The Incident, as I changed my bandage again, I noticed something. Parts of my leg looked like they were healing. I was in less pain in certain places, and I could envision how my thigh might look in another couple weeks of meticulous care. I wanted to speed up the process so, so badly. But I knew that any methods I might use to do so could potentially cause so much more pain and delay my healing. All I could do was faithfully follow the care instructions I was given, and try to take care of my body so that it was able to do the work of self-healing more effectively. I finally saw that the process, though painfully slow, was working.
I know quite a few people who are on a healing journey right now. Pasts are being dredged up, skeletons are being pulled from closets, generations of trauma and un-health are being looked in the face for the first time.
And no, there may not be a quick fix for this. It may be more intense than any of us have ever experienced. We may not be able to rush it or force it, and it may be painful for quite a while.
But our God is a Good Doctor.
Our God is a thorough Healer.
Follow your instructions and take care of yourself. I mean that quite literally and non-metaphorically too.
Don’t give up.
Stick out this season of mending, no matter how ugly it might seem right now.
People might not understand. That’s ok. “People” aren’t your Good Doctor and you don’t have to explain anything to them anyway.
Your pain is not a burden—to God or to those that love you.
Keep doing what you know you need to do.
Don’t turn back now.
Let the Healer heal all the way.
It will take our cooperation. It will take some time.
But watch as right in the middle of your busy and normal life,
the God who put skin on dry bones,
who grew wildflowers in the desert,
who knows you are but a breath and still cares to mend your heart,
puts every last piece into place.