Searing Pain — Ugly Scars

Searing pain propelled my hand into retreat mode. I barely brushed the top rack while removing pizza from the oven that night. Ice calmed the immediate pain, leaving it numb, but a constant throb throughout the evening reminded me of the burn. That’ll leave a scar. I didn’t have to be a genius to arrive at that diagnosis.

Searing pain leaves scars. It’s a law of nature.

searing pain -- ugly scars

How can a brush of the oven rack leave such a nasty scar?

A dab of coconut oil soothed the sensation, allowing me to forget the pain and sleep—until the next day when I stepped into the shower. Hot water was not my friend. While the area needed cleaning, it didn’t want any reminder of heat. Hot Texas sun reminded me again of the pain.

Almost a week later, the spot no longer hurts, even when I touch it. But dark, wrinkled flesh remains. In one spot, the top layer peeled away, and red fresh skin beneath resists touch, reminding me of the utter carelessness with my hands. Will I always have this scar?

Maybe. It was a rather small burn, and with care it might disappear, or at least soften. If not, perhaps I can add a nose and mouth to make an artistic drawing on my hand—using something less painful of course.

Yet how many times do I act equally careless with my heart? “Above everything else, guard your heart,” the writer of Proverbs wrote. “for it is the source of life’s consequences.”(CJB Proverbs 4:23)

Searing pain in the emotional sense leaves scars too, less easily spotted in their invisible habitat. Initially, heat reminded me of a nasty burn. The visible scar reminds me to be more careful, perhaps choose oven mitts that cover my entire hands. But the heart—we do not always see the scars caused by the painful experiences of life.

The heat of similar experiences may remind me of the nasty wound on my heart, but I can’t rub oil there and make the pain go away. And sadly, the scars left behind create a numb area we protect in very wrong ways.

How can I deal with searing pain of my heart?

1.       Take it to the ultimate healer first. God alone can anoint those places with the oil of his love.

2.       Share with a trusted friend—one who knows how to comfort and won’t run off to tell someone else.

3.       Admit and seek forgiveness for holding to the pain.

4.       Forgive the one who hurt you.

5.       As much as possible, be at peace with that person—reconcile if you can, but do not be a doormat and allow them to continue hurting you.

6.       Forget and move forward with your life. Learn from the event, but never let it become a repeated story, repeatedly burning your heart with the pain.

How silly for me to go back and keep burning that same spot on my hand. Yet we often do exactly that by holding something from the past. Searing pain burns, but God’s love heals.

Your turn: Share how you overcame searing pain in your life. If you still struggle with painful emotions, may I pray for you?

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