I had the opportunity to talk with one of my students who knows the Lord. He’s genuinely a good person with values and seems to have had a good upbringing. He always has a positive disposition, always has a smile on his face, and is never disrespectful. In that conversation, and knowing what I know about people and myself, we don’t like pain. We don’t want to feel bad and always want instant gratification. We don’t want to go through the processes; we just want to get over them. So we resort to covering it up. Now we know that purpose of a band-aid is to cover a wound to prevent infection and promote healing. However, think about our hearts. We fall in love; we get hurt. You can’t separate the two; you can’t have one without the other. When the hurt comes, it feels like someone stabbed you in the heart a hundred times. I believe the pain we feel means we’re alive. All the same, we use the band-aid to cover the reality of the situation. That band-aid can’t mend a broken heart; it can’t prevent infection or promote healing.
Now the young man is always in the library with his girlfriend…I mean everyday! I began to notice I hadn’t seen this couple in a while. When I thought about it, I hadn’t seen him either. Finally he surfaced and my inquiring mind wanted to know ,”So, where have you been? Where’s your girlfriend?” He, being all evasive, responded “She’s around.” Oh Lord! My probing mind was like, “What does that mean? Around?” He said, “Ms. Hall, I don’t want to talk about it.” I said, “Oh we gonna talk! What’s wrong with you? You ALWAYS talk! I can’t get you to be quiet, so spill! Y’all done broke up, haven’t you?” He admitted they had and I asked him why. He (and I can only take his word for this) said that they were “too serious.” He said they had dated two years and they were too young to be so serious. Really? You think? I wish I could say I had some consoling words for him, but I didn’t. Instead I said, “You’re absolutely right. You have your whole life ahead of you.” He justified the relationship by saying he brought her to the Lord. Okay…that doesn’t mean you have to date. Me being me, I probe and dig a little deeper until he can’t take it anymore.
Another few weeks go by and he’s a no-show, at least in the library. This week he comes by the circulation desk as I’m sitting there. “Well, well, well….look what the wind blew in! Where have you been?” He tries to be all cool about it, but he can’t. He was also looking rather happy. I said, “What are you smiling about? You and that girl got back together, huh?” I wanted to be happy for him, but I wasn’t unhappy for him. I just felt like, according to the young man, if God told you to end the relationship or you felt some kind of way about it, can those feelings have changed that fast? I’m not saying he didn’t care about her, but I do think he acted hastily. I say this because it had only been a few weeks and he admitted he didn’t like being alone. This is what gets me. He put old girl on a “contract” and what’s worse is she accepted those terms. I wish some man would put me on contract. Boy, bye! In any event, I do not know the terms of said contract, but he wants certain freedoms and privileges.
That’s when it dawned on me that he (and we) want to put bandages on our feelings. We don’t like the way hurt feels. We don’t like the way rejection feels. We don’t like the way uncertainty feels. So let’s just put a band-aid on that nasty wound. Like a natural cut or wound, lack of exposure to the elements is not going to make that broken heart or rejection go away. It has to run a natural course of healing. That course, my friends, consist of time, prayer, some tears and some more time. We want that band-aid to carry us OVER the emotional injury instead of THROUGH it. There is no getting around it. There are not shortcuts with God. Besides, don’t you want to be the best you can be in and through Christ?
That young man reconciled on his terms. That young lady settled for his terms. They are both doing themselves an injustice by taking matters of the heart into their own young hands. I encourage them both to continue to grow in their walks with the Lord and to take their time. If it is God’s will for them to be together, it will come to pass. In the meantime, don’t be afraid to take that doggone band-aid off! Your greatest blessing may come through that wounded heart. Psalm 51:17 (NIV) reads, “My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.” God has everything you need to heal that emotional wound. God is the Father that kisses the “boo-boo.” The blood of Jesus is the band-aid because He covered us with the blood He shed for us. The Holy Spirit is the Neosporin that comforts, soothes, and eases that wound over time. We can’t hurry love and we can’t hurry the work and moves of God in our lives.