Culture / Family / Ideas / January 27, 2012

The Great Healer?

There are some pieces of common, cultural wisdom that are so often quoted and repeated that we fail to notice just how devastatingly stupid they are. And I do mean devastating.

I heard an interview with a man the other day who was describing a broken family situation. The interviewer asked him whether his relationship with his son had improved recently. His response was something to the effect of “I’m just trying to be patient. You know, time heals all wounds.”

Time heals all wounds.

Does it, though?

Think about the analogy. Does this idea in any way reflect the reality of healing? As a child I busted my head open a few times. I fell off a porch. I crashed in to a chain link fence on a tricycle (It involved being a test case for two of my older brothers and them pulling me with a 20 foot rope down the sidewalk at top speed. The blood ruined my 1987 Twins World Series Champion sweatshirt. But enough about that.) I was hit in the forehead by a hammer that flew out of a rather burly friend’s hand. And not one time did my mother or anyone else look at the blood running down my face and say “time heals all wounds.”

No, they took me to a doctor. Without that care I would have been at risk for infection. The wounds could have festered. And I likely would have had three really ugly scars.

I don’t think it’s any different with emotional, relational, spiritual or psychological wounds. Leave them alone and the blood loss will significant, the possibility of infection is incredibly high, and the scars will be dramatic. Wounds to the heart or emotions are even more likely than physical wounds to spread and cause damage elsewhere. An untreated wound on my head leaves a scar. An untreated wound in my heart mighty end up scarring others.

The idea of leaving woundedness to time is only helpful if it encourages patience, not if it leads to passivity. It takes action to care for the hurts of the heart. It takes cleansing and binding. Often it takes repeated efforts as the wound lingers. And it takes patience.

Time doesn’t heal all wounds. Time doesn’t have any power. Time is just the space during which God can use the actions of people to heal wounds from the outside while he works from the inside.


Jan 31, 2012

This is great insight. A friend of mine went through a traumatic emotional experience several months ago and occasionally we will talk and I always do my best to encourage him and lead him one step closer to Jesus and wholeness again. As Barnabas mentioned, my friend will sometimes say, “Well, I guess I just have to wait, time heals all wounds, doesn’t it?” It is in those moments that I have to remind him that many people are going through this life licking their wounds with no healing in sight. We can be wounded at 25, and if we allow bitterness, resentment, and anger to fester, then we’ll still be grumbling about the situation and mad at the world when we’re 50. If, however, we fall on Jesus, and allow Him and His work on the cross to absorb our pain and hurt, then we have the opportunity to walk each day into a greater level of healing and freedom. Like the author mentioned, physical wounds take time but also intentional work to clean and dress the wound in order for proper healing to take place. So it is with our mental, emotional, and spiritual healing. Through prayer, worship, Bible study, and good Christian fellowship, we must seek God’s face and God’s love to radiate upon us. Like the woman with the issue of blood, we must get to the point where we are so sick and tired of being sick and tired that we get up out of our depression, find where Jesus is, and then press through the crowd and say, “If I can just touch His cloak, I will be healed!” (Mt. 9:21)

Feb 03, 2012

Love it..!
My world has been turned upside following the illness and then death of my wife in Feb 2010, leaving me with 3 children aged 13,11,10. She was just 48 when she made her final journey to glory. Time hasnt healed the pain. Bit by bit though, The Healer has been working on my heart and has not left me nor my children. I got remarried 6 months ago to a lady with 2 children who’d also been bereaved early in life….now we are all together, we carry a lot of emotional pain between us which we know Jesus is healing a bit at a time…each time we cry (often!).
Thanks for taking time to write the blog!
Much love from across the water

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