"Do now, do now, what you will wish to have done when your moment comes to die." [St. Angela Merici]

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The First Cut Hurts the Most

By Micky Wolf
If that just-out-of-the-wrapper-inch thick-maple board could talk, it would have surely hollered, “Ouch!” (The whitish splotches are water droplet reflections.)

The surface was perfect when my beloved and I placed it on the counter. And then we preceded to chop away. How did we ever get along without this helpful kitchen tool?

Now, a few weeks later, that same surface bears witness to countless strikes of a sharp blade.

Kinda like you and me. Time and life events have a way of leaving imprints on our hearts and souls.

The first criticism…

The first rejection…

The first betrayal…

You and I, however, are not powerless when such things happen. We have a choice as to how we will respond.

Cuts have the power to change us—for the better, if we allow them to be worked in us by the Divine—or for the worse, if we see them in the singular light of uninvited pain or suffering.

Apart from that, isn’t it interesting that a simple maple cutting block needs a bit of maintenance to remain in good working order. We have a special oil to apply on a regular basis to keep the surface sealed and protected.

Not unlike the work of the Divine. We may be on the receiving end of various and assorted blows, but God is in the business of healing and restoration. If we choose to cooperate with His grace, we will be covered with the oil of forgiveness and gladness, the balm of compassion and love, the breath of acceptance and tenderness.

If it’s true that board has been cut upon again and again, it’s also true many a meal has been prepared on its surface. When I see those marks, I savor the delicious memories. How many vegetables, seafood, or poultry have been carefully sliced or shaped for yummy appetizers or entrées?

It is your choice and mine as to how we perceive the scars we carry about in our being. We can dwell on the hurt and anger that accompanied the blow, or we can turn our focus to the One who desires to use those experiences to help us grow and become all that we’re created to be.

It is wisdom to know that a cut can destroy.

It is even greater wisdom to know each one can be used by our good and gracious God to create something far more beautiful and holy than we could ever understand or envision.

How will you respond?


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