Our Bayley loved bandaids. We put them on fresh "boo-boos", old "boo-boos", and none existence ones too. And if her dolls had an accident that may or may not have been caused by their little human friend, we put a few on them as well.
The boxes were full of Hello Kitty and Disney Princess goodness. I like to think of them as medicinal Cracker Jack boxes!
It made perfect sense to our toddler to place the bandaids all over her body. And since they were inexpensive pleasures, I bought a lot. The bandaids covered minor injuries and made Bayley feel better about what previously caused tears.
There are numerous things that thrive when covered. And there are others that require exposure in order to be healed or in Lazarus's case .... come alive.
“Lord, the one you love is sick.” - John 11:3
This was the message Mary and Martha sent to Jesus concerning their brother Lazarus. The scripture intentionally describes their relationship. He "loved Martha, her sister and Lazarus." - John 11:5
We could easily overlook the power in this verse. But let's sit with it for a moment. Three people with three personalities and struggles received the same unconditional love. That's good news! It means we don't have to mimic Martha, compete with Mary or compare ourselves to Lazarus. Jesus loves us for who we are.
".....we don't have to mimic Martha, compete with
Mary or compare ourselves to Lazarus."
Just a few verses later, the conversation takes an unexpected turn. "... he stayed where he was two more days". - John 11:6
Jesus waited. And by the time he arrived, Lazarus had been in the tomb four days.
As Mary and Martha met Jesus, they echoed the same desperate cry, "if you had been here our brother would not have died." - John 11:21
To be honest, similar sentiments escape my mind and slide right out of my mouth. Thankfully, Jesus isn't put off by such honesty. And even more so, he already knew the Father's plan to "awake Lazarus from his sleep." - John 11:11
However, the resurrection required participation. The mourners and bystanders had to roll away the stone. And so do we.
Like our Bayley covering herself with bandaids, we become masters at masking. We hide our trials and traumas, as if pushing them in the recesses of our minds will cause them to disappear. They don't.
Instead they linger and decay. They "stinketh." - John 11:39. And what we thought was buried leaks on top of new places, things and relationships. It's a slippery slope that leads to disappointment.
"How can I heal what you won't let me touch?" That was a question the Father asked during a particularly challenging season. It hit hard. A whole Selah moment. I was hiding what he was willing to heal.
You don't have to answer out loud but, how many memories and traumas have you buried? Are you willing to show the Father where you laid them? Exposing our pain to him is a safe place and even though it doesn't feel like it, the uncovering brings freedom. When the stone was rolled away, Lazarus emerged from his grave healed and restored.
"God is our safe place and strength." - Psalm 46:1 -NLV
We're all presented with the same options. Either we hide and retreat into the shadows or we roll away the stone and embrace our healing.
Hide or heal. The choice is yours. But, hopefully you'll join me for a life lived out loud in the sun.
Your Sister Friend,