My wife, Diann, fixing a stuffed friend of a grandchild’s.
My wife has sewn all of her life. She often uses a sewing machine but sometimes just needle and thread. Her talent has found new expression since becoming a grandmother.
The grandchildren have many stuffed friends including monkeys, teddy bears, dolls, and more. Like the famous story of the “Velveteen Rabbit” who became worn and tattered by being loved so much, the grandchildren’s stuffed friends sometimes need mending. From the wear and tear of daily life they come apart at the seams, allowing their innards of stuffing to burst forth. Sometimes they lose a button eye, an arm or leg, or even a tail.
The grandchildren come, stuffed friend in hand, to grandma, the surgeon of stuffed friends. Usually the surgery is too delicate a procedure to use the sewing machine; hand stitching is required. Stuffed animal on her lap or on the kitchen table that doubles as a surgery table, grandma takes off her glasses to get a better look (this is the way some grandmas’ eyes work). Choosing thread that matches the stuffed friend’s body color, she threads the needle (another task done minus the glasses). With needle and suture she goes to work.
In no time at all the stuffed friend, mended and fully recovered, is handed back to the grandchild. The child immediately checks out the previously injured area, sees that it’s been healed, says, “Thanks, Grandma,” and joyfully bounds off with the restored stuffed friend. Grandma, too, feels joy, for being the surgeon of healing for the much loved friends of her grandchildren.
People too, you and me, become frayed and worn, coming apart at the seams, so to speak. Sometimes we get the stuffing knocked out of us, so to speak again. Even in the process of loving and being loved we sustain damage, for our loving is imperfect.
Fortunately, there’s someone to whom we can go to get help to put us back together again. He’s known as the Great Physician, Jesus. His Heavenly Father (and ours too) is also a physician who heals; He doesn’t go by the title in the Bible, but His actions prove it.
The Lord doesn’t always heal the way we’d like, human doctors don’t always either, often using painful shots, medicines with negative side effects, and surgery. Still, we believe our doctors have our best interests at heart. Certainly our Great Physician does!
This can be very helpful, to remember that, like our doctors, like grandma who is ready and willing to “heal” the stuffed friend, God wants to bring healing and wholeness to us. It may be sooner or later, in a different way than we thought, or not until our transition to heaven. Our Lord is a wonderful physician who really cares and has the best of bedside manners!
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3