Scripture: Psalm 147:1-11
Key verses: (2-4)
2 The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
3 He heals the brokenhearted,
and binds up their wounds.
4 He determines the number of the stars;
he gives to all of them their names.
Reflection: The image of binding up wounds has taken on new meaning for me this week. I had a moment of inattention in the kitchen and wound up with four stitches in a finger. A range of feelings immediately surfaced. The first was pain: how much it hurt. The second was regret: how I should have known better. The third was pain again! The fourth was worry: what was the damage? Eventually I realized I was feeling gratitude, though it took a while to recognize.
Gratitude came when the wound was being tended to. That night in the ER, surrounded by others with much worse problems than mine, I was grateful for readily available medical care, and insurance. I was grateful for pain medicine. I was grateful that the injury wasn’t complicated. I was especially grateful for the compassion and care of others. I was even grateful the next day for church members who passed a photo of my injury on to get an expert opinion and follow-up care from another member. My wound was pretty superficial, and I will heal just fine.
The binding of a small finger wound is one thing. God tends and cares for wounds much deeper. God’s compassion and healing reach to the ends of the earth, to those who are brokenhearted and devastated. God knows the wounds that are physical, and those that are hidden from sight—and bruise our psyche and spirit. God’s careful binding of wounds calls for gratitude, though we might not be able to recognize or name it at first. God’s binding might look a lot like a kind x-ray tech, or neighbors pitching in after a storm, or a casserole from the meal ministry. May we be part of how God binds the wounds of others, and may we all eventually get to gratitude.
Prayer: Lord, you know each of your children. You know our deepest pain. You heal and tend, soothe and restore. Use me to help bind the wounds of others in small and in mighty ways today. In the name of Christ, the compassionate one, I pray. Amen.
Author: Julie Hester
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].